David Isenberg: Trump & Private Military Contractors — Can Jim Mattis Close This Door?

Trump and the Return of Private Military Contractors The PMSC sector is the U.S. military’s American Express card; it dare not deploy without it. Or, to use a more morbid pop culture reference, consider the first Alien movie, when they try to remove the facehugger from a crewman’s face, only to realize that trying to …

David Isenberg: The Real Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election – The Military Industrial Complex

The Real Winner of the 2016 Elections Although political and media analysts will be parsing the election results for months to come one winner is blatantly obvious, and it is not Donald Trump. Rather, it is something all tax-paying Americans support, even if they don’t think about it: the military-industrial congressional-complex (MICC). To confirm that …

David Isenberg: Interview on Private Military Corporations (PMC)

The following interview with David Isenberg [1] was carried out in Washington D.C., on January 15, 2014 by Patrick Renz and Frauke Heidemann. The main focus of the interview was on the definition of Private Military Companies (PMC), governmental oversight, the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq, the role of small arms in unstable states and …

David Isenberg: Africa, China, Oil, & Blackwater

Erik Prince and Bubblin Crude: “Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea” If you have been following the news recently you would have seen a spate of articles  regarding Erik Prince’s latest business venture, Frontier Resources Group. At this point those who follow PMSC issues should all know who Erik Prince is. But for those …

David Isenberg: Using and Regulating Private Military Contractors (PMC)

PMSC Using States: Who’s Been Naughty and Who’s Been Nice? EXTRACT: One problem though. Since Montreux came into being nobody has had a way to compare in any kind of systematic way how various states were ensuring that PMSC headquartered on their territory were complying with the document’s best practices. In effect, nobody has known …

David Isenberg: Private Military Contractors — Foxes in the Henhouse

The PMSC fox in the government henhouse Although he may not have intended it as such, all the publicity surrounding the recent published book by Erik Prince, founder of the private security firm once known as Blackwater, has actually served a useful public policy purpose; namely, highlighting the near ubiquitous presence of private military and …

David Isenberg: Open Source for Government

Steven Tyler captures the essence of open source when he says, “If you have a candle, the light won’t glow any dimmer if I light mine off of yours.” Like a candle’s flame, software won’t be anymore effective if kept to itself. With that said, in the name of sharing, GovLoop is proud to introduce …

David Isenberg: The Perils of Privatizing Intelligence

Ever since former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor Edward Snowden started revealing national Security Agency documents earlier this year there has been renewed debate about what is the proper balance between public and private sector roles and participation in the intelligence community.  This is an issue, which, in recent years, has periodically come up, but has …

David Isenberg: Protecting Victims of the Privatization of War

Isenberg Institute of Strategic Satire Protecting the Victims of the Privatization of War  Over the years we have seen numerous cases of various abuses and outright crimes by private military and security contractors (PMSC).  True, they don’t happen every day, and don’t reflect the actions of the vast majority of the contractors working overseas but …

David Isenberg: 70% of the US Intelligence Community — Contractors — Reasonably Subject to Question on Both Legal and Efficiency Grounds

From Boox Allen to James Bond EXTRACT (CONCLUSION): Ms. Windsor’s bottom line is this: When the government forms contracts for core governmental functions, particularly in the area of national security, the consequences of problems arising under those contracts can be severe. Preventing those harms is in the United States’ interest, under the two-pronged policy of …

David Isenberg: What Rules, If Any, Should Govern Death by Drone? (Never mind the 98% collateral damage….)

What Rules Should Govern US Drone Attacks? April 4, 2013 Kenneth Roth Larry Towell/Magnum Photos Drone aircraft at a US base, Afghanistan, 2011 As bits and pieces of the Obama administration’s legal justifications for its drone attacks trickle out, what is most striking is their deliberate ambiguity. The recent Justice Department “White Paper,” for example, …

David Isenberg: Harvard Paper on Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan

  The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets Faculty Research Working Paper Series Linda J. Bilmes, Harvard Kennedy School Abstract: The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history – totaling somewhere between $4 to $6 trillion. This …

David Isenberg: Nurture Your Givers to Increase Effectiveness

Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture By encouraging employees to both seek and provide help, rewarding givers, and screening out takers, companies can reap significant and lasting benefits. McKinsey & Company, April 2013 After the tragic events of 9/11, a team of Harvard psychologists quietly “invaded” the US intelligence system. The team, …

David Isenberg: Foreign Affairs on the Rise (and Good) of Big Data

The Rise of Big Data How It’s Changing the Way We Think About the World Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger May/June 2013 Article Summary and Author Biography EXTRACT Big data is a resource and a tool. It is meant to inform, rather than explain; it points toward understanding, but it can still lead to …

David Isenberg: GWOT Has Shredded CIA’s Focus and Utility – Plus Renaissance References

Intelligence WOT distorting focus, resource allocation of U.S. intelligence community: experts The U.S. Intelligence Advisory Board, a panel of fourteen highly regarded and experienced experts, many of whom past holder of high-level national security positions, has submitted a secret report to President Obama in which they say that the intense, 12-year focus of the intelligence …