Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Canada’s hired guns in Afghanistan slammed in U.S. Senate report

The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.”

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Canada spent more than $41 million on hired guns in Afghanistan over four years, much of it going to security companies slammed by the U.S. Senate for having warlords on the payroll.

Both the Defence and Foreign Affairs departments have employed 11 security contractors in Kabul and Kandahar since 2006, but have kept quiet about the details.

Now documents tabled in Parliament at the request of the New Democrats provide the first comprehensive picture of the use of private contractors, which have been accused of adding to the chaos in Afghanistan.

The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.”

The company, which has since been taken over by G4S Risk Management, provided security around the Canadian embassy in Kabul and guarded diplomats.

Tundra SCA stands on guard for the Defence Department outside Canadian military forward operating bases and has collected more than $5.3 million.

The U.S. Senate report included Tundra on a list of companies that poach staff from Afghan security forces — something that has long angered President Hamid Karzai, who last year moved to eject all private security from the country.

More than $438,000 of the Afghan-owned, Canadian-run company’s expenses remain secret, for operational security reasons. But Tundra’s website, unlike other contractors, promotes its intelligence “gathering and analyzing” abilities.

A Kandahar warlord, with links to former governor Gul Agha Sherzai, earned $2.5 million since 2008 providing security outside of the provincial reconstruction base.

Col. Haji Toorjan employed a 40-man militia. But there are questions about how much was spent for his service because the documents tabled in the House of Commons are not consistent with access-to-information records and published reports that show he was on the payroll in 2007.

More than $3.4 million went to Washington, D.C.-based Blue Hackle to guard the governor of Kandahar and train his security detail. Canada started paying that expense in 2008, after Karzai replaced the notorious Asadullah Khalid, who was accused of human-rights abuses and had his own private militia known as Brigade 888.

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

G4S tries to convince Aussies that they only hire Crims and Thugs to cover embassies in Afghanistan


Darren Hoare, to a G4S Armorgroup Mentally Ill Criminal Danny Fitzsimons

in the Green Zone in Iraq

Darren Hoare murdered by fellow ArmorGroup Security Guard in Iraq

‘Crims, thugs’ in embassy security at The Australian

The security firm G4S and its affiliates protect Australian embassies across the globe from Brussels to New Delhi and Shanghai, but the company was last week accused of “major offences” in Afghanistan by the Afghan government.

This follows a US Senate investigation last year which found the employees of a G4S subsidiary in Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, included Taliban affiliates and criminals.

However, G4S executives strongly denied yesterday that its problems in Afghanistan had implications for the security of Australian missions in other parts of the world.

“Operating in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq is very different to the operations that companies such as G4S would have in other countries around the world,” a spokesman for G4S told The Australian.

“G4S has complete confidence in the integrity of its employees who provide security at Australian diplomatic missions.”

When asked about its contracts with G4S, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to discuss G4S specifically, but said it took the responsibility of protecting its staff and visitors at Australian embassies abroad “extremely seriously”.

DFAT said decisions about which private security companies were employed to protect Australian embassies was made by each individual embassy.

G4S was one of several security firms in Afghanistan to be criticised last week by the Afghan government for unspecified offences.

In 2009, dozens of employees from G4S’s Afghan subsidiary ArmorGroup — responsible for protecting the US embassy in Kabul — were accused of misconduct including nudity, drinking and urinating on each other.

A G4S spokesman said G4S had a clearly defined ethical policy and was subjected to external audits on a regular basis.

He said the group had recently been the founder signatory of a new international code of conduct that covered recruitment, vetting and training of staff, and the use of force, including handling firearms.

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Follow the Money, G4S, Iraq, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Officer gets 6 years in Iraq contracting scheme

Marine Times at Military Times

A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Marine Corps captain to six years in federal prison after the officer pleaded guilty to a scheme where he and his wife stole $1.7 million intended for Iraqi reconstruction.

Capt. Eric Schmidt, 40, of Murietta, Calif., had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing false federal tax returns, and will have to pay full restitution — that’s $1.69 million to the Defense Department and $458,141 to the Internal Revenue Service — as ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips during a sentencing hearing in Riverside, Calif.

Schmidt was ordered to report to federal marshals April 11 to begin his prison sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy McLaughlin said. The judge also agreed to a payment plan for the couple to return the money, a process that will include the sale of property they had purchased.

His wife, Janet Schmidt, 39, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of failing to report income on money she received as part of the scheme, and she faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced March 7.

“The Schmidts defrauded U.S. taxpayers, cheated the Iraqi people and betrayed the trust placed in them,” said Stuart Bowen, inspector general of the Special IG for Iraq Reconstruction, in a statement issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in Riverside. “They will now pay the price for their criminal wrongdoing.”

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Department of Defense, Iraq, Pentagon | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ManTech wins $488 million logistics contract with U.S. Army

Virginia Business.com

ManTech International Corp. has received a $488 million contract to provide logistics support for the U.S. military’s mine-resistant vehicles.

The Fairfax-based defense contractor will monitor and sustain the armored vehicles, which are designed to survive IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and ambushes. ManTech will assess and repair damaged vehicles.

Work will be performed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and at locations throughout the U.S. as required.

The contract includes a base period and 11 options totaling 11 months.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contracts Awarded, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Iraq, Kuwait, Pentagon | , , , | 2 Comments

Pakistan extends US man’s remand over shootings


LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) A Pakistani court on Thursday defied pressure from Washington and extended the detention of a US government employee for eight more days pending investigation of a double murder in Lahore.

The US consular employee, whom Pakistani police have identified as Raymond Davis, was arrested a week ago and said that he shot dead two motorcyclists in self-defence, fearing that they were about to rob him.

A third Pakistani was run over and killed by a vehicle from the local US consulate that tried to come to Davis’s assistance.

Washington demands the man’s release, saying he has diplomatic immunity, as tempers run high in Pakistan over the incident.

About 250 demonstrators marched on the US consulate on Thursday, demanding the “Blackwater agent” be sent to the gallows and the release of a Pakistani woman jailed for the attempted murder of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Blackwater is the former name of a US private security company, now called Xe Services, which was accused of firing on Iraqi civilians in 2007.

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Blackwater, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, Pentagon, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How much pressure can Pakistan bear on release of Raymond Davis

The Islamabad Globe

It has been a couple of weeks and the US Ambassador to Pakistan (aka Pakistani Ambassador to US) Mr. Hussein Haqqani is in panic because the State Department has has restricted diplomatic contact with the Pakistani Embassy. This supposedly is the first step in the pressure. A woman of Pakistani origin was given a life sentence in New York and is being kept in solitary confinement for attempted murder of a US Marine after being gang raped for years and being forced to watch her children being raped ad nauseum. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is given a life sentence.

A US contractor whole regular civilian passport has been shown on Pakistani Television shoots two Pakistani citizens in the back, and there is pressure to release him without a trial. According to press reports, the US is threatening stopping all military and economic aid to Pakistan if Mr. Raymond Davis or whatever his name is not released immediately.

According to the Pakistani press, “Mr. Davis” seems to have worked simultaneously in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi. According to Ahmed Qureshi a respected journalist in Pakistan, Mr. “Davis” was on a business visa and that does give him any diplomatic immunity in Pakistan. The Vienna Conventions clearly state that Diplomatic Immunity cannot be used to escape from Criminal activity.

Press Reports from Pakistan indicate that he was involved in  “sensitive activities” working as a “contractor” for U.S. Department of Defence and CIA.  In plain English this means that he was part of a Blackwater type of Organization. Pakistani Officials have warned the US that since the case is in the court it would be highly unpopular for the Federal or Provincial government to intervene and release the American and risk public backlash.

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Pakistan, Pentagon, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , | 1 Comment

US may extend stay in Iraq

American officials suggest that tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq may extend their stay in the country well beyond the 2011 withdrawal deadline.
Press TV

US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey said on Friday that more US military forces may be needed to counter what he called “threats to Iraq’s stability, [and they] will remain in 2012.”

The prospects of a longer US military stay in Iraq contradict the clauses of a 2008 agreement between Baghdad and Washington.

The agreement established that US combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and that all US forces would be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

The Iraqi government initially intended to hold a popular vote on the agreement but later succumbed to US bully-tactics and accepted the agreement.

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, more than 1,300,000 people have been killed in Iraq, 4.7 million displaced, 5 million children orphaned — nearly half of the country’s children — and the health status has deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Iraq | , , , | 2 Comments