Private military enforce corporate agendas. There is increasing recourse to private military not only to backup or even replace the army in conflict zones, but also to enforce the agenda of industrial conglomerates as in the eviction of peaceful demonstrators at Standing Rock who were attempting to halt the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The proposed pipeline was against the will of indigenous peoples and disastrous for local water supplies and, more globally, against efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses, These concerns were of little interest to the petroleum companies whose only idea was to make a quick buck at the expense of the Earth and the indigenous peoples. Hired security staff were on hand to enforce the will of the companies and the neoliberal administration.
Such lucrative security businesses are thriving as the shift to private mercenaries accelerates and people like Trump increase state budgets to pay for increased militarisation. Trump is advised by mercenaries like the head of the now-defunct Blackwater company. Such private military forces are key players in ramming through the neoliberal agenda against the will of the people and beyond the reach of any democratic oversight.
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Countering protests – TigerSwan Tactics
The Intercept reports that a mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept.
Internal TigerSwan documents indicate that they assimilated indigenous movements opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline with terrorists and used counterterrorism methods, snooping on, infiltrating and trying to destabilise indigenous groups on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline. Part of their work included gathering evidence and developing cases for the conviction of protesters. In addition, the company carried out counter information campaigns on social media
Against the backdrop of US states enacting laws to criminalise protests, the use of a private security firm, working closely in conjunction with official law enforcement agencies to undermine protest movements is a worrying step in the decline of democracy.
Jose L. Gomez del Prado, Global Research | The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies
Ian Traynor, The Guardian | The privatisation of war
Kenneth P. Vogel, Brianna Gurciullo, Politico | Inside Trump’s ‘privatized mercenary force’
Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept | Notorious mercenary Erik Prince is advising Trump from the shadows
Democracy Now | Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism | Privatised War – A spotlight on the use of military contracting worldwide
Swiss Armed Forces for the OSCE | 20 Years of OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security
Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, Alice Speri, The Intercept | Leaked documents reveal counterterrorism tactics used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”