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Author Topic: Interesting article on G4S private military  (Read 4545 times)
Victor
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« on: March 28, 2014, 04:55:27 PM »

I found a cool article from a magezine called Vanity Fair describing a company called G4S, (Group 4 Securicor), a private security company that, apart from providing normal security guards for businesses and such, also provides demining crews for places in Africa and elsewhere. I found it quite an interesting read, so I thought I'd share.

Besides being interesting just for being so large a private security company, I also found it interesting that the company apparently suffered from some control issues due to its beuracratic structure. Such a behemoth of an organization somewhat unsurprisingly ended up not being able to keep all of its employees behaving well.

On the other hand, I also found the culture among the demining crews that the author primarilly focuses on rather interesting. They have to work in a war-zone atmosphere, enduring similar dangers and hardships to government soldiers, but without the hope of coming hope to be received as heros by their family and communities, much less countries.

A good quote from the article about this:

Quote
This is a characteristic of private soldiering. The job is denuded of delusion. At G4S the men know they cannot return home as heroes, or even expect mention if they die. They will have taken equal risks at lower cost than their counterparts among conventional soldiers—the logic of the business requires it—but there will be no talk of their courage and sacrifice. Far from it: outside of their own little circles, they will be greeted with uncertainty and mistrust. They do not speak about this in South Sudan, but it is unmistakable in their culture. Similarly, though every explosive device they neutralize might otherwise have killed—and disposing of them provides satisfaction—they know that, beyond the job of battlefield clearance, they work in an era when, globally, mines are being planted faster than they can be found. ... In the face of these realities, and with no grand theme to inspire their work—no Jesus Christ, no national flag—the men of G4S do not strain against history but concentrate on the tangible tasks at hand.

Anyways, great article overall.
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Seth King
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 04:58:16 PM »

I think I'd prefer to call them "corporate" security. If they're still blessed by the state, then it's not really private, in my opinion.
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Victor
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 06:28:46 PM »

I think I'd prefer to call them "corporate" security. If they're still blessed by the state, then it's not really private, in my opinion.

Good point. I forget to make that distinction a lot, but it does make sense.
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