Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Issues in the privatization of security

Peter Singer of the Brookings Institute has an essay in Humanitarian Review that outlines issues for humanitarian organizations to consider before hiring a Private Military Firm for their security. One of his biggest concerns is accountability. Who polices these guys? As the sex trade scandal of Dyncorp under US contract in Bosnia showed, nobody. The whistleblowers were fired, those participating in the activities never faced charges anywhere for anything and the company continues to have US government contracts.

I would think that even if you are in a situtation where there is no local government to deal with, the PMF's must hold their personnel accountable for egrigous and/or illegal behaviour. Singer suggests that this be written into the contracts and it should. Similarly, companies who are incapable of policing their employess should be banned for getting hired. This is good business.


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