What a bankrupt war breeds

The massive growth in private mercenary companies since 9/11 is exposed with yet another investigation. But the end result? More outsourcing to unaccountable companies who are desperate for wars to continue and expand. Killing is a good business:

An Australian-owned security company has been accused of a litany of abuses in Afghanistan – including theft and corruption – by a powerful US Senate committee.

The company, Compass Integrated Security Solutions, which is owned by the son of a former Australian cricketer, has been accused of undermining the international effort in the country while earning millions of dollars.

The accusations are found in the October report on private security contractors in Afghanistan by the US Senate’s Committee on Armed Services.

Specifically, Compass has been accused of:

– Paying Afghan generals and police commanders to source serving soldiers and police for its private security units in contravention of various policies.

– Hiring guards, arming them and sending them out on jobs without any training, in breach of its own policies.

– Failing to discipline its employees when they robbed service stations, sold Compass ammunition on the black market and threatened to attack a Compass camp after being criticised.

Liberal senator Russell Trood said the behaviour of the company, which has held contracts with the Australian Defence Department, is yet another example of the lack of regulation relating to private military companies.

”These contractors are a phenomenon which has grown exponentially over the last decade, and has become such a widespread practice that our procedures of oversight haven’t really caught up,” he said.

The company is owned by Australian Peter McCosker. He is the son of Australian cricketer Rick McCosker, famous for continuing to play during a 1977 Test match despite having his jaw broken.

Compass, based in Dubai, has been in operation for five years and employs more than 2300 security guards in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

Like many other private military and security companies, it has an opaque structure and is also known as Compass Security, Compass Service Solutions and Compass Limited Iraq. One of its major contracts was with a food and fuel supplier to the international forces in Afghanistan, the Supreme Group.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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