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Private Military Ecology Blog
last updated 27-Mar-2016
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At Private Military Ecology we explore unfolding trends and alternative futures for the use and understanding of Private Military and/or Security Companies and services. Late in 2013, we opened shop at WordPress: --a nicer, cleaner and more elegant experience. At WordPress, we discuss the changing 21st century security environment in addition to private military and security issues. Private Military Ecology @Blogger, however, is our oldest blogging space and you might find many posts there not available here or at WordPress.

Clinton does Obama and Obama does Clinton


The Clintonian Obama Presidential campaigns inevitably produce rushed pronouncements and media analysis. Inasmuch as policy promises sometimes filter down with unintended consequences, they can also communicate the wrong message, be misinterpreted, or both. And so this week security contractors hit the Democratic campaign trail. Considering that the use of contractors in contingency operations has a long trajectory in the US and the administration of Bill Clinton re-engineered the process to new standards, it somehow came as a surprise that Hillary Clinton decided to target unfavourably security contractors. The policy basis on the use of contractors is sound and efficient. It is only the travesty of it that the George W. Bush administration, assisted by a SecDef from another era, made of it that caused the multitude of problems we are now debating. One would expect that good old Bill reminded Hillary about it. That is hard to tell, as she went on to issue a press release announcing that she is co-sponsoring “legislation to ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq”. Leaving the unnecessary terminology not conducive for constructive dialogue aside, her advisors should know by now that the debacles of a handful of firms in Iraq have only proved to be an exception to an overall trajectory of good service to the US by PMCs. She went on to state that “the legislation requires that all personnel at any U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel.” One wonders where the supplementary forces and money to fund them are going to be found. One last thing, far from compromising the mission in Iraq as stated in the press release, there would not be any mission in Iraq without the private security personnel. All together, the statement reads along Barack Obama’s lines, i.e. it sounds good however implausible the strategy is. Obama, on the other hand, took a more pragmatic approach, with his campaign team informing that he will not be pursuing a banning of security contractors in Iraq. Off course he promises swift withdrawal from Iraq if elected, but this week this set the pulse. Even better for Obama, Jeremy Scahill miscalculated the mood and published a piece that made Obama look more centre ground than he ever intended and Clinton more to the left than her team ever planned. Where was Bill when Hillary decided to do an Obama number?

March 2, 2008




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