Sunday, October 28, 2007

Contracting Out Harpers War

Canada quietly has expanded the use of contracting out and privatization of military operations for Harpers War. Not only is Tim Horton's a private contractor working at taxpayer expense in Kandahar so is SNC Lavalin.

It is Canada's version of Bechtel and Halliburton.
And like them it too has been rocked by scandals.But unlike them it is also a war-profiteer making weapons systems and small arms. It processes depleted uranium for weapons use in Iraq and Afghanistan. And your pension dollars help support them.

As this article points out if you want the real date that Canada will remain in Kandahar till, try 2012.

Since Canadian troops deployed to southern Afghanistan in the spring of 2006, the number of contractors working in support and logistics roles has more than doubled to nearly 200.

The privatized support dates back to Canada's multiple deployments in the former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s. Anticipating more overseas mission in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the federal government turned to defence-engineering giant SNC Lavalin, which won a five-year, $500-million contract that has renewal options running until 2012.

The federal government has already quietly opted to renew the contract, which has set renewal dates of 2007, 2009 and 2011.

In Afghanistan, for example, SNC Lavalin-PAE was given a five year, $400 million contract by the Canadian Department of Defense to build and maintain Camp Julien and provide laundry, food and other services to Canadian occupation forces there. And to meet the increasing demand for Quebecois bullets, SNC is building another artillery testing range on Cree land in Waswanipi, Quebec. Opposition to the project is rising in Waswanipi because the range will disrupt an important trap-line used by Cree hunters.

We even have our own version of Blackwater happening in Kabul.

Canada's diplomats in Kabul and visiting high-value targets like Prime Minister Stephen Harper are protected by a group of heavily armed gunmen hired by Saladin Security, a British firm with a long history of secretive and clandestine operations.

Department of Foreign Affairs officials in Ottawa are tight-lipped about the deal struck with Saladin, whose gun-toting employees provide perimeter security, operate checkpoints, serve as bodyguards and form a heavily armed rapid-reaction force designed to move quickly to thwart an attempted kidnapping and rescue survivors of suicide attacks or car-bombings in Kabul.

The department won't even confirm that Saladin's most recent contract - which ended in June of 2007 - has been renewed, but observers of the Canadian embassy in Kabul say Saladin employees remain on guard. Some Saladin guards, in baseball caps and paramilitary uniforms, openly patrol the road outside the Canadian diplomatic compound in Kabul.

But details of the extent of Canada's reliance on a private firm for diplomatic protection are even more scant than the now-controversial U.S. deal with Blackwater Security, the American firm whose hired gunmen killed 17 Iraqi civilians last month while protecting a diplomatic convoy.

Saladin Security, Ltd. is a private military company based out of London and headed by industry veteran Maj. David Walker. The company was orginally established as a subsidiary of Keenie Meenie Services, and financed by John Martin Southern of Blackwall Green, Ltd., in 1978 to handle local contracts. As KMS disappeared from the global stage, Saladin began taking on contracts in the Middle East and Sri Lanka.

They provide military training, weapons procurement, logistical support, post-conflict resolutions, commercial property security, and risk analysis.

Saladin trains the Omani troops and runs their airforce which is flown and maintained almost completely by British personnel. RAF bases in Oman were used as launching pads for American flights into Afghanistan. Saladin, along with KMS, aided the CIA and British Intelligence in arming and training the Mujahideen in the war against Soviet imperialism.

Saladin is currently operating in Iraq.

In 1984, KMS was approved by the British government to train the Special Task Force arm of the Sri Lankan military against the Tamil rebels. The STF was widely reported to have been committing atrocities against the Tamil population and by 1987 KMS had moved their two hundred personnel to Latin America. The British press had reported, though the company denied it, that employees for KMS were quitting their jobs because the Sri Lankan troops were out of control.

During the Iran-Contra investigations, KMS was accused of repeatedly carrying out sabotage operations in Nicaragua that included mining the Managua harbor and destroying enemy camps, buildings and pipelines.

On November 22, 1987 the London Observer's Simon de Bruxelles published a three page proposal from KMS to the CIA suggesting sending small teams of instructors into Afghanistan to train rebels in "demolition, sabotage, reconnaissance and para-medicine."

KMS was accompanied by Saladin Security (a subsidiary) and Defence Systems Limited in their training programs in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

KMS closed down in the early 1990s, and Saladin began operating more internationally.

The BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANIES (BAPSC) works to promote the interests and regulate the activities of UK based firms that provide armed defensive security services in countries outside the UK.

A Fistful of Contractors: The Case for a Pragmatic Assessment of Private Military Companies in Iraq," by David Isenberg

Speaking of Blackwater they are used for training Canadian forces used in Afghanistan as well as to train the secret JTF-2 special forces, which have seen action in Iraq.

Select Canadian soldiers have been sent to Blackwater U.S.A. in North Carolina for specialized training in bodyguard and shooting skills. Other soldiers have taken counterterrorism evasive-driving courses with the private military company now at the centre of an investigation into the killings of Iraqi civilians and mounting concerns about the aggressive tactics of its workers in the field.

Canadian military police trained by Blackwater operated in Kandahar last year in support of coalition special forces. Members of the Strategic Advisory Team, which operates in Kabul, also underwent counterterrorism driving training, according to a military official.

The Ottawa-based counterterrorism unit, Joint Task Force 2, has also maintained ongoing training links to the company.

Military officials did not have further details on why Blackwater would be hired, but promised to provide those. Later, however, they did not comment on the matter.

Canadian Forces spokesman Lt.-Col. Jamie Robertson said the military does not discuss its special forces training. But he noted that Blackwater and other firms have been contracted to provide services for other units.

And the Afghan security forces used to protect the PRT in Kandahar are hired guns, euphemistically called contractors, mercenaries by any other name. And they are under the control of warlords.

So what is an occupying army, huddled behind the wire, supposed to do? Well, if you are NATO then you go ahead and pay some trustworthy locals to fight for you. That is, you hire mercenaries. Under the headline, "British hire anti-Taliban mercenaries", the Times of London reports on "newly formed tribal police who will be recruited by paying a higher rate than the Taliban."

Canadian forces, too, are getting in on the action. "For five years Col. Toorjan, a turbaned, tough-as-nails, 33-year-old soldier, has been working alongside U.S. and Canadian forces in Afghanistan as a paid mercenary commander," reports Canada's National Post. "Today, his militia force of 60 Afghan fighters guards Camp Nathan Smith, the Canadian provincial reconstruction team site (PRT) in Kandahar, and guides Canadian soldiers on their patrols outside the base." Toorjan and his armed men "wield significant influence in Kandahar's complex security web", making him a treasured ally, though before 9/11 he was "in effect a warlord", said the second-in-command of Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team.

The use of mercenaries, it should be noted, runs counter to the International Convention on Mercenaries (1989). Canada, however, along with the USA, the UK and many others, is not a signatory to that treaty.

And the contracting out continues even when our vets retire an go looking for a new job.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2007) - The Government of Canada today announced new measures to help retiring Canadian Forces Veterans make the successful transition from the military to new civilian careers. The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs; Laurie Hawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence; and Bram Lowsky, General Manager, Right Management, formally launched the national contract for the Job Placement Program.

The value of the contract with Right Management is for up to $18.5 million over the next four years.

Right Management is a subsidiary of Manpower Inc. the temporary placement agency that has benefited from government and corporate downsizing. The Conservatives continue the policy of the Liberals of Reinventing Government by downsizing departments and contracting out. When you contract out you no longer have to worry about staffing costs like benefits, pensions, nor pesky union grievances.

Right Management is a career transition and consulting firm operating in more than 40 countries.

Founded in 1980, Right Management was at the forefront of “inventing” the outplacement industry, and expanded globally to match the footprint of its multi-national clients.

Beginning in 1996, Right Management extended into consulting services to help clients address human resource and organizational consulting needs.

Right Management was acquired by Manpower in January 2004.

Manpower Inc. operates under five brands: Manpower, Manpower Professional, Elan, Jefferson Wells and Right Management.

Job Protection for

Canadian Reservists

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Unknown said...

Good Stuff Eugene:

The Canadian public needs to know this stuff

Keep it coming

Here is my contribution

The Canadian public needs to know what is being perpetrated in their name


RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. I believed another Vietnam could be avoided with defined missions and the best armaments in the world.

It made no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see: