Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Slaves to the private military in Iraq Cheap help from Uganda

Private security firms won lucrative contracts to supply support staff and security guards to back up US forces in Iraq. They recruited Ugandans and pushed them to the limit, on low pay and no benefits

Like all foreign nationals working for PMCs under contract to the Pentagon, sick or wounded Ugandans repatriated from Iraq are, in principle, covered by the Defense Base Act, which guarantees that their employer’s insurer will reimburse their medical expenses. It also provides for disability pay for the most unfortunate. “But, all too often, the Ugandans do not receive the medical care and disability that they are supposed to,” American lawyer Tara K Coughlin told me.

by Alain Vicky LeMonde Diplomatique  May 6, 2012

“I realised immediately that I’d just made the worst mistake in my life. But it was too late. I’d signed up for a year. I had to take it like a man,” said Bernard (1), a young Ugandan who worked for an American private military company (PMC) operating in Iraq. He was part of the “invisible army” (2) recruited by the US to support its war effort. Bernard returned to Uganda last year. He is ill, but has been denied the welfare and healthcare benefits promised in his contract.

White recruits — from the US, Israel, South Africa, the UK, France and Serbia — hired by PMCs that have won contracts with the Pentagon (worth $120bn since 2003) have received substantial pay, often more than $10,000 a month; “third country nationals” (TCNs) like Bernard have been treated badly and their rights as employees have been abused. Some, sent home after being wounded, get no help from their former employers.

In June 2008, when the US began its withdrawal from Iraq, there were 70,167 TCNs to 153,300 regular US military personnel; in late 2010 there were still 40,776 TCNs to 47,305 regulars. TCNs (men and women) were recruited in the countries of the South to work on the 25 US military bases in Iraq, including Camp Liberty, an “American small town” built near Baghdad, which at its peak had a population of over 100,000. They made up 59% of the “basic needs” workforce, handling catering, cleaning, electrical and building maintenance, fast food, and even beauty services for female military personnel.

Some, especially African recruits, were assigned to security duties, paired up with regular troops: 15% of the static security personnel (guarding base entrances and perimeters) hired by the PMCs on behalf of the Pentagon were Sub-Saharans. Among these low-cost guards, Ugandans were a majority, numbering maybe 20,000. They were sometimes used to keep their colleagues in line: in May 2010 they quelled a riot at Camp Liberty by a thousand TCNs from the Indian subcontinent.

The high ratio of Ugandans was due to the political situation in central Africa in the early 2000s. In western Uganda the war in the Great Lakes region was officially over. In northern Uganda the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels had been brought under control. In neighbouring Sudan the civil war was over, opening up the way to independence for the south (3). More than 60,000 Ugandan troops were demobilised; Iraq seemed like an opportunity. The Ugandan government, a key ally of the US in central Africa, was one of the few to support the Bush administration when the Iraq war began in 2003. US and Ugandan armed forces have collaborated since the mid-1980s. Ugandan journalist and blogger Angelo Izama (4) told me that in 2005 the US needed more paramilitary security — “They were looking for reliable labour from English-speaking countries, veteran labour” — and turned to Uganda.

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May 7, 2012 Posted by | Africa, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Iraq | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Iraq War Ain’t Over, No Matter What Obama Says

Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room  October 21, 2011

President Obama announced on Friday that all 41,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will return home by December 31. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end,” he said. Don’t believe him.

Now: it’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. For much of the year, the military, fearful of Iranian influence, has sought a residual presence in Iraq of several thousand troops. But arduous negotiations with the Iraqi government about keeping a residual force stalled over the Iraqis’ reluctance to provide them with legal immunity.

But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.

The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not have a promising record when it comes to managing its mercenaries. The 2007 Nisour Square shootings by State’s security contractors, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed, marked one of the low points of the war. Now, State will be commanding a much larger security presence, the equivalent of a heavy combat brigade. In July, Danger Room exclusively reported that the Department blocked the Congressionally-appointed watchdog for Iraq from acquiring basic information about contractor security operations, such as the contractors’ rules of engagement.

That means no one outside the State Department knows how its contractors will behave as they ferry over 10,000 U.S. State Department employees throughout Iraq — which, in case anyone has forgotten, is still a war zone. Since Iraq wouldn’t grant legal immunity to U.S. troops, it is unlikely to grant it to U.S. contractors, particularly in the heat and anger of an accident resulting in the loss of Iraqi life.

It’s a situation with the potential for diplomatic disaster. And it’s being managed by an organization with no experience running the tight command structure that makes armies cohesive and effective.

You can also expect that there will be a shadow presence by the CIA, and possibly the Joint Special Operations Command, to hunt persons affiliated with al-Qaida. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has conspicuously stated that al-Qaida still has 1,000 Iraqi adherents, which would make it the largest al-Qaida affiliate in the world.

So far, there are three big security firms with lucrative contracts to protect U.S. diplomats. Triple Canopy, a longtime State guard company, has a contract worth up to $1.53 billion to keep diplos safe as they travel throughout Iraq. Global Strategies Group will guard the consulate at Basra for up to $401 million. SOC Incorporated will protect the mega-embassy in Baghdad for up to $974 million. State has yet to award contracts to guard consulates in multiethnic flashpoint cities Mosul and Kirkuk, as well as the outpost in placid Irbil.

“We can have the kind of protection our diplomats need,” Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough told reporters after Obama’s announcement. Whether the Iraqi people will have protection from the contractors that the State Department commands is a different question. And whatever you call their operations, the Obama administration hopes that you won’t be so rude as to call it “war.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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October 21, 2011 Posted by | CIA, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ISOA Highlights Speaker Line-Up for 2011 Annual Summit

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) October 11, 2011

The 2011 Annual Summit of the Stability Operations Industry takes place in two weeks and ISOA is pleased to highlight featured speakers for the event.

Jack Straw, UK Foreign Secretary under Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2001 – 2006, will be addressing the Summit dinner on 25 October. Straw was instrumental in crafting and coordinating international missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. He currently serves as an MP in the UK Parliament.

Chris Shays and Michael Thibault, Co-Chairs of the Commission on Wartime Contracting, will offer valuable insight in to the recent CWC Final Report and its implications for the industry on the morning of 25 October.

Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp, Former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will address participants on the following day and discuss the role and value of the private sector in supporting vital U.S. policies abroad.

“This year’s speaker line-up is the most impressive collection of expertise and influence in the history of our Summit,” stated Doug Brooks, ISOA President and Founder. “It is a must-see for companies looking toward their future bottom-line.”

The Summit kicks off on Monday 24 October, with opening remarks from Summit chair, Ambassador David Litt (ret.) and former, long-time Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Ike Skelton. Lunch speakers include Ambassador Eric Edelman (ret.), former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and David T. Johnson, current Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

The ISOA Annual Summit is the premier event of the stability operations industry, drawing a diverse group of speakers and attendees from government, military, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. A detailed agenda and further information about the Summit can be found online at http://www.stability-operations.org/summit2011.

The ISOA Summit is sponsored by Mission Essential Personnel, Dyncorp International, SOC, LLC, Triple Canopy, L-3 MPRI, PAE, Inc., Olive Group and EOD Technology.

Summit sponsorships, exhibitor spaces and advertising opportunities can be found on the event website, or requested from Melissa Sabin at msabin(at)stability-operations(dot)org.

About ISOA

ISOA is the international trade association of the stability operations industry, promoting ethics and standards worldwide and advocating for effective utilization of private sector services. ISOA members are leaders in the industry and are supported by ISOA’s outreach, education and government affairs initiatives.

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October 11, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Security Firms Win Big Iraq Contracts

Iraq Business News  May 6, 2011

Two more security firms have won contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to build the State Department a private army in Iraq, according to a report from Wired’s ‘Danger Room’.

Contractors Triple Canopy and newcomer Global Strategies Group will contribute to the State Department’s planned protection force of 5,500 contractors.

In September, the State Department announced that eight security firms would share in a $10 billion contract to guard diplomats. Both Triple Canopy and Global were among those firms, which have the right to bid on so-called “task orders” for protecting specific department operations around the world.

One of the first task orders awarded was to SOC, to safeguard the Baghdad embassy, a deal that would net the company up to $973 million over five years.

At the time, that looked like a slap to Triple Canopy, which has provided security forces for the massive compound since 2005, earning itself $438 million in the process.

But while SOC will guard the embassy itself, in what’s called “static security,” Triple Canopy will perform “protective security services” for its residents; When diplomats travel around the Iraqi capital, it’ll be guards for Triple Canopy who’ll protect them.

Triple Canopy has been doing that work since Iraq kicked Blackwater out in 2009 and the State Department (briefly) ended its contract with the firm. It’s more lucrative than guarding a building. Triple Canopy will earn $1.53 billion if the contract runs for the full five-year span of the task order.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contracts Awarded, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , | 1 Comment

The Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) Sept 29 Contract Awards

The Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) program provides comprehensive protective security services to support U.S. Department of State operations around the world.

Solicitation Number: SAQMMA10R0005-A
Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Office of Logistics Management
Location: Acquisition Management
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SAQMMA10R0005-A

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Award Notice

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September 29, 2010

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SAQMMA10D0094SAQMMA10D0095SAQMMA10D0096SAQMMA10D0097SAQMMA10D0098SAQMMA10D0099SAQMMA10D0100SAQMMA10D0104

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10,000,000,000.00 Maximum Program Value

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SEE DESCRIPTION

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SEE DESCRIPTION
SEE DESCRIPTION, SEE DESCRI
United States

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Added: Sep 30, 2010 9:40 pm

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) made the following eight base contract awards for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security – Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) Program resulting from solicitation: SAQMMA10R0005 (-a) on September 29, 2010.  The maximum program value is $10,000,000,000.00 USD.  The maximum value is cumulative and includes all work performed by all contractors during the WPS program period of performance, including all option periods.

The base contracts include a one year base period of performance with four one year option periods.  DOS included the minimum guarantee of $5,000.00 for each WPS contractor with each base contract award.

Please see section M of solicitation: SAQMMA10R0005 (-a) for more information on the evaluation criteria that DOS used to select the firms listed below for base contract awards.

SAQMMA10D0094 :  Aegis Defense Services, LLC
SAQMMA10D0095 : DynCorp International, LLC
SAQMMA10D0096 : EOD Technology, Inc.
SAQMMA10D0097 : Global Strategies Group (Integrated Security), Inc.
SAQMMA10D0098 : International Development Solutions, LLC
SAQMMA10D0099 : SOC, LLC
SAQMMA10D0100 : Torres International Services, LLC
SAQMMA10D0104 : Triple Canopy, Inc.

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P.O. Box 9115
Rosslyn Station
Arlington, Virginia 22219

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Worldwide

United States

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Thomas C. Lemole,
Administrative Contracting Officer
Phone: 1-571-345-7908

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Sharon D James,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 7038756077
Fax: 7038755272

October 3, 2010 Posted by | Aegis, Afghanistan, Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, DynCorp, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Triple Canopy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment