Thursday, April 02, 2020

Blackwater and the Rise of the Private Military


You all should have received my presentation in your UK emails.

Feel free to comment here with any questions, or clarifications.


Constellation said...

Could you talk about some examples of "shady legal stuff" for PMFs that have been resolved, and some that still exist?

As far as format goes, this and last week's were both fine. One difference was that this week, it was a little more difficult for me to go back and re-listen to audio on a slide (it kept freezing PPT when I tried to go back 30 seconds or whatever). Maybe that was just me, though.

PlaguedbyPericles said...

Not much has been resolved as far as what I have seen. As you saw in our readings, these companies operate under three legal jurisdictions; international law, laws in the country the firm is incorporated in, and law of the countries they are operating in. The incorporated country laws are usually the most effective (the Nisour Square perpetrators were found guilty in US courts) but these kind of transnational trials are difficult and expensive. Testimony often entails expensive, long flights and is legally burdensome. The third jurisdiction is often war torn countries that have shaky judicial systems. As far as what has been resolved, the ICRC Montroe document implemented some behavioral parameters into the actual contracts these firms undertake (54 total adoptee countries). So, there is some accountability but it is usually corporate accountability in the form of lost contracts, not individual accountability. These companies can often just pick up shop and move to another country or re-incorporate. Examples of the former being Frontier Services group operating out of Hong Kong and the latter Blackwater to Acedemi. So in many ways, these firms are still operating in the same legal grey area. A good podcast for more information is Force for Hire by Stars and Stripes. On said podcast, Sean McFate, an expert on this subject said that one of the core issues with legal enforcement is the fact these firms are armed and dangerous. For example, a "sketchy" firm operating in Nigeria can simply shoot at / not engage with government or international officials. If they can still get contracts by government willing to look the other way, they aren't going to be concerned with legal ramifications. Hope that answered your question.

PlaguedbyPericles said...

That is Montreux Document** sorry.