What’s in a name? Rebranding as a PMSC Strategy

The increasing allocation of government contracts to third-party, private firms in the military and security provision has not only generated an emerging market for defense products and services, but has also established some of the biggest transnational firms operating throughout various jurisdictions in a multiplicity of international contexts.

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The New Venture of Erik Prince: Reflex Responses Private Army

Erik Prince, founder of the security company Blackwater Worldwide, now formerly known as Academi and belonging to the Constellis Group is currently the Chairman of the Frontier Services Group Ltd, a company defined as a provider of integrated security, logistics and insurance services for clients operating in frontier markets. In recent years, Prince has participated in the creation of Reflex Responses, a private army founded in August 2010.

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ShockMonitor at the ICoCa Annual General Assembly

On the 12th October, Shock Monitor attended the 2017 Annual General Assembly for the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) for Private Security Contractors in Geneva, Switzerland.

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The Northern Triangle of Central America as a PMSC Powerhouse

Situated between drug producers in the Andean Ridge nations and their consumer clientele in North America, the geographic landscape and vast terrain of the Northern Triangle of Central America, a region composed of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, is a primary passageway for narcotics and weapons. The region’s dense jungles and rural, sparsely populated areas provide ocean or land-borne traffickers with sufficient cover and discretion, especially due to its alignment to roadways and trails leading north through Mexico (USMC 2012:2-3).

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What’s in a name? Rebranding as a PMSC Strategy

CurrentAffairs Get InvolvedFollow usSubscribe J. Andrew Carter, Jr.  The branding and subsequent rebranding of business entities that engage in employment or contractual relationships with public governments is of particular interest due to the utility of public taxpayer money in the arrangement. The increasing allocation of government contracts to third-party, private firms in the military and security provision has not only generated an emerging market for defense products and services, but has also established some of the biggest transnational firms operating throughout various jurisdictions in a multiplicity of international contexts. Corporate branding is one of the most fundamental marketing strategies employed in business Branding is an iconic and essential function of all corporate identities in the private sector. Corporate branding is one of the most fundamental marketing strategies employed in business, often encompassing a name, trademark, slogan, or design that seeks to distinguish a corporate entity or product. While there are many conflicting perspectives on how to market certain businesses, services or products, branding can be a utility to reflect corporate ideals, measured in its ability to accurately identify a product or service to its target audience, establish a level of professionalism and differentiate its placement in potentially diverse markets. Effective branding, in this regard, is often a difficult task faced by entrepreneurs in innovative or up-and-coming industries. Having said, branding is multifaceted in the sense that “rebranding” or changing the public image of a service or product can act as a lucrative tool when employed by corporate administrations amid stagnant business cycles, new management or even facing corporate crises when negative connotations become associated with a firm, service or product. Utilizing rebranding as a superficial marketing strategy may enable a firm to evade public scrutiny, especially when faced with irreconcilable controversy or legal indictment. The majority of private military and security personnel are ex-military or former combatants trained by conventional militaries Private military and security branding is a multifaceted endeavor. Advertising security services can prove to be a problematic task due to the ethical, law-abiding yet militant approach necessary in guarding or protecting assets in potentially dangerous or compromised environments. Frequently, private military and security brand marketing is luring, often encompassing military jargon, acronyms and symbols to the likes of former commanders, admirals and armed forces personnel (in fact, the majority of private military and security personnel are ex-military or former combatants trained by conventional militaries). Further complicating private military and security branding schemes is the appeal to potential clientele, which range from individuals or corporations in need of asset-protection to victims of extra-jurisdictional crime or injustice seeking additional security solutions outside the scope of the protections guaranteed by states or public sector security services. Firms in the military and security sector face the complex burden of conveying credentials, licensing, compliance and credibility to a target audience within a given jurisdiction that implies control and safety. The private nature of military and security companies enables firms to engage in simultaneous…

The New Venture of Erik Prince: Reflex Responses Private Army

CurrentAffairs Get InvolvedFollow usSubscribe Carlos Díaz Bodoque Erik Prince, founder of the security company Blackwater Worldwide, now formerly known as Academi and belonging to the Constellis Group, is currently the Chairman of Frontier Services Group Ltd, a company defined as a provider of integrated security, logistics and insurance services for clients operating in frontier markets. In recent years, Prince has participated in the creation of Reflex Responses, a private army founded in August 2010. In January 2011, several Arab countries contracted Erik Prince to help train a private army of 2,000 Somali recruits. In May 2011, The New York Times reported that the UAE had signed a $529 million contract with Reflex Responses to recruit and train the “Security Support Group,” a foreign legion for counterterrorism and internal security missions. According to the New York Times report, the mercenaries underwent training at a secret facility in the desert sands of the United Arab Emirates, about 20 miles outside Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, free of charge and with strong support from emirates authorities, Prince helped to recruit troops for the Reflex Responses, also known as R2 Prince’s ties to the United Arab Emirates are intense. He moved to Abu Dhabi in 2010 in order to wash his image due to the Blackwater scandal and the many legal problems the company was involved in United States, which led him, in the same year, to sell Blackwater Worldwide. In Abu Dhabi, free of charge and with strong support from Emirati authorities, Prince helped to recruit troops for the Reflex Responses, also known as R2. Led by Mike Hindmarsh, a former senior Australian military officer who has been listed as commander of the UAE’s Presidential Guard, Reflex Responses participated in several military missions on behalf of the UAE. According to some sources, private contractors working for R2 have been flying Emirati military aircrafts in Libyan airspace and reportedly targeting critical infrastructure in bomb raids throughout the country. Foreign private security contractors are another volatile element plaguing the Middle East, further desestabilizing the region The UAE has not only used Reflex Responses for self-defence but has also used the private military contractor in their participation in foreign conflict, notably in Libya and Yemen., R2 is focusing its efforts to assist and dynamize the proxy war in Yemen- a convoluted conflict between Saudi Arabia and its allies against the Irani-backed Houthis. Recent reports allege that R2 has engaged in acts of domestic repression as well as suffering substantial casualties within their combat personnel. Foreign private security contractors are another volatile element plaguing the Middle East, further destabilizing the region as can be observed in the privatization of warfare in Iraq since 2003. According to the former R2 employees, most of the enlisted combat and non-combat personnel are former military specialists from Colombia and South Africa, and have been extensively trained by retired US soldiers, as well as veterans of the British, German and French Special…

ShockMonitor at the ICoCa Annual General Assembly

CurrentAffairs Get InvolvedFollow usSubscribe On the 12th October, Shock Monitor attended the 2017 Annual General Assembly for the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) for Private Security Contractors in Geneva, Switzerland. ICoCA is an initiative developed in 2008 by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss Government as a supplementary mechanism of the Montreux Document, an agreement stipulating good governance and oversight apparatuses for states over the private military and security industry. 7 governments, 22 civil society organizations and over 100 private military and security companies Membership to ICoCA is divided into this three pillars, who took part in the 4th Annual General Assembly, including panel discussions on grievance mechanisms and public procurement, in addition to individual pillar meeting. ImpactsIndustryAccountabilityRegulationsPublicationsAgenda…
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