Soldiers of Fortune Ltd.:

A Profile of Today's Private Sector Corporate Mercenary Firms

David Isenberg

Center for Defense Information Monograph
November 1997

Center for Defense Information
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The Center for Defense Information was founded in 1972 to serve as an independent monitor of the military and source of objective inhe military and source of objective information on U.S. military spending, policies and weapons systems. CDI provides military information and analysis to Congress, government agencies, the media and the public. In print, on TV, radio, and the Internet CDI serves as an impartial monitor of the military as it continues to fulfill the increasing demand for information and independent ideas, free from the influence of the military/industrial/political establishment. CDI believes that strong social, economic, political, and military components and a healthy environment contribute equally to the nation's security. CDI opposes excessive expenditures for weapons and policies that increase the danger of war.

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Hard copies of this monograph are available for $10.00 a copy. To order send a check payable to the Center for Defense Information. Or, if you wish to order by credit card, Visa or MasterCard, call 1-800-234-3334. This topic is also the subject of a forthcoming episode of America's Defense Monitor, CDI's television series. Interviewees include Lt. Gen. Ed Soyster (USA-Ret), Vice President, Operations of Military Professionals Resources Inc. The 30-minute episode, Conflict Inc.: Selling the Arts of War, is available for $25 for a VHS copy.

David Isenberg joined the Center for Defense Information staff in 1989 and is currently a Senior Research Analyst. He is the author of several of CDI's past Defense Monitors and numerous past episodes of America's Defense Monitor, CDI's nationally broadcast television series. He directs CDI's Conventional Arms Trade Project, including its Arms Trade Database and Arms Trade Listserver. Other research areas include U.S. military intervention in developing countries, power projection capabilities, and military counter-narcotics efforts. He has a B.A. from the University of Oregon and an M.A. from American University. Prior to joining CDI he worked at the Pacific Northwest Research Center, Business Executives for National Security, and the Project on Military Procurement. Mr. Isenberg has testified before Congress, been published in leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor, and appeared on numerous television and radio programs. His email is

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Jennifer E. Cho was a research intern during the summer 1997 season. She assisted in the original research and wrote an early first draft of this monograph. Ms. Cho is currently a junior at Yale University, majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics. Her industriousness, dedication and enthusiasm made a difficult job of research much easier.

Much of the research cited in the endnotes was found online via searches on the World Wide Web. Many of those articles are stored in CDI's Arms Trade Database. To access them set your browser to An online version of this monograph is posted on CDI's web site. To access it go to

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war.(1)

But whose dogs? Even such a traditional institution as the U.S. Army War College is examining the changing nature of war and those who wage it. A recent study there raised a serious question concerning the problems which arise if warriors are not soldiers of a state but soldiers of fortune:

Similarly, in a system where corporations or cartels have their own power that transcends the strictly economic, the United States will have to decide what sort of relationship to have with transnational corporations or multinational cartels. Should, for instance, the United States consider signing treaties, perhaps even nonaggression pacts with powerful corporations? And, if corporations do appear to pose an actual challenge to the power of the state, should the U.S. Government pursue a strategy designed specifically to prevent the accumulation of non-economic power by corporations? And, what should U.S. policy be toward transnational security corporations (a.k.a. mercenaries) such as the highly successful Executive Outcomes composed of former South African soldiers? Clearly, if power continues to accrue to transnational corporations, the United States will have to re-think some of the basic tenets of its approach to security and world politics.(2)


Traditionally, the ultimate symbol of the sovereignty of a nation is its ability to monopolize the means of violence; i.e., raise, maintain, and use military forces. While there have always been exceptions, such as partisans and guerrilla forces, the evolution of the international system over the centuries has been such that military conflict has been conducted using state-raised forces. In modern times these forces have been motivated by issues of nationalism and ideology, as opposed to earlier traditions of fighting for whoever could pay them. The evolution of national military establishments has also been accompanied by changes in international law which, often belatedly and imperfectly, seek to regulate the means by which military force is used, including the types of military units considered legitimate.

However, in the post-Cold War era national military forces are waning. Both numbers of personnel and sales of weapons have declined significantly since the end of the Cold War. Yet although the total number of wars has dropped in recent years, in certain areas of the world fierce and savage conflicts still rage. In many countries ruling authorities--or those seeking authority--try to impose order any way they can. Some have sought intervention by outside states. But many major powers are reluctant, seeing no vital interest to be served by sending their troops to other countries to try to quell an ethnic or nationalist conflict like Bosnia or provide security for a humanitarian intervention as in Somalia or Rwanda.

Some states have sought intervention by U.N. peacekeeping forces. Given the difficulties of gaining consent by warring factions and the reluctance of troop-contributing states to provide forces and funding, this is often not a realistic option.

Thus, in an era where governmental downsizing and free market philosophy are sweeping much of the world, it is not surprising that governments are turning to the private sector in search of services traditionally provided by the public sector.

Specifically, the past few years have seen increased prominence given to the re-emergence of an old phenomenon: the existence of mercenary organizations working solely for profit. The modern twist, however, is that rather than being ragtag bands of adventurers, paramilitary forces, or individuals recruited clandestinely by governments to work in specific covert operations, the modern mercenary firm is increasingly corporate.(3) Instead of organizing clandestinely, they now operate out of office suites, have public affairs staffs and web sites, and offer marketing literature.(4) But while they like to call themselves private security firms, they are clearly quite different from the traditional private security industry (PSI) which provides watchmen and building security. Business flourishes wherever there is a need for security, both in developed as well as in failed states. There are an estimated 9,800 such firms just in Russia.(5) The corporate mercenary groups, however, are marketing military battlefield skills which either help improve or substitute for regular military forces.

In a world where there are tens of millions of soldiers serving in regular military forces around the world, why is the subject of mercenaries important? Simply put, at a time when there is a trend toward military downsizing worldwide, coupled with continuing and perhaps more virulent conflicts in developing nations, a global trend towards privatization, and the reluctance of developed states to intervene in troubled areas, there will be a continuing and possibly increased demand for the services of trained military personnel capable of both teaching combat skills and conducting combat. If we wish to prevent them from possibly carrying out the same sorts of atrocities that regular military forces have so often done, it is necessary to pay attention to them and try to ensure that they adhere to the same standards of international humanitarian law by which regular military forces are expected to abide.

Mercenaries are already of concern because some have been involved in massacres, executions, looting and rapes in a number of recent conflicts.(6) Because mercenaries are frequently not part of the command structure of regular military forces, lack ethnic or cultural connections to the civilian population, and often have been discharged from prior military service because of disciplinary problems, they may be more likely than regular soldiers to engage in systematic human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war.(7) Although some mercenary firms have not been accused of such abuses, it is an open question as to whether they will manage to remain above such abuses in the future. It must be noted, however, that today's corporate mercenary groups could be less likely to be guilty of such abuses. Many of them are associated with numerous nonmilitary corporate firms who fear the bad publicity that would result if a mercenary subsidiary carried out a massacre or other egregious human rights abuse. Thus, a corporate association might well be a restraining influence in regard to the battlefield conduct of such groups.


One problem in discussing mercenaries is the lack of definition of the word. Nations have struggled for centuries to define the term and, as detailed below, still have not come to a clear definition fully accepted under international law. The term is often inconsistently and incorrectly applied by individuals who frequently speak more from an emotional than from an objective viewpoint.(8)

Traditionally, mercenaries have been defined as non-nationals hio frequently speak more from an emotional than from an objective viewpoint.(8)

Traditionally, mercenaries have been defined as non-nationals hired to take direct part in armed conflicts. The primary motivation is monetary gain rather than loyalty to a nation-state. Contrary to generally misleading references in popular culture, mercenary groups do not impose themselves; they are sought after and hired as a means of conducting military operations, both externally and internally, just like regular military forces.

The first attempt in international law to offer a definition was the 1972 Organization of African Unity Convention for the Elimination of Mercenaries.(9) This Convention is not in force but its main provisions were incorporated into the OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa, 1977.(10) Another attempt at definition was made with Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. This used most of the language of the OAU Convention which applies only in situations of international armed conflict. However, as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Mercenaries pointed out, mercenaries are most often found in intrastate conflicts.(11)

Article 47 of the Geneva Convention Protocol I states that a "mercenary" is "one who is motivated essentially by the desire for private gain and is promised material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants in the armed forces of that party."(12) Although the definition lacks clarity in legal terms, it is clear that mercenaries are soldiers with different motivations than those in regular military establishments.

Mercenaries existed long before the Geneva Convention produced a formal definition. Although most notoriously associated with the colonial days of Africa, mercenaries have been used in virtually every corner of the globe. While they may not be the world's oldest profession they are likely a very close second.(13) They have existed since war began. Throughout most of human history it was considered the order of things that the destruction of war should be left to needy foreigners so citizens of rich states could go on making their fortunes. This tradition goes back to the fourth century B.C., and mercenaries have figured prominently in some of the greatest military campaigns in history ever since. The Carthaginian armies were mercenary, as was that of Hannibal when he invaded Italy. Alexander the Great employed some 50,000 mercenaries in 329.(14)

During the Middle Ages (1100-1500) mercenaries were frequently used. During this period many rulers hired trained professional soldiers to protect their states. For example, in the 1790s it is estimated that of the Prussian army's common soldiers, over half of them--some 200,000--were foreign mercenaries who had no commitment to the cause for which they enlisted.(15) Some states hired out their soldiers in order to make money off their services.(16) Indeed, mercenaries were a significant presence in the American Revolution, with 30,000 Hessian mercenaries fighting for the British.(17) The U.S. government has also used mercenaries in recent times, such as the Vietnam War, although we called them allies in order to avoid public controversy. During that war the U.S. government maintained that the countries which provided mercenary troops did so of their own volition, choosing freely "the commitment of the lives and energies of their national interests and security, nothing more, nothing less."(18) And Americans have on various occasions themselves been mercenaries.(19) In order to distinguish the blurring images of past and present mercenaries, the following distinctions should be made.

The first type are those traditional mercenaries whose primary motivations are profit or adventure. The Serbian soldiers who recently participated in Zaire's conflict on the side of the Mobutu government are representative of this type.(20) Another example is former soldiers working for drug traffickers.(21)

The second type are small military groups that work for a host government and provide security for a specific region. These particular mercenaries, as seen in Africa, limit their services to the local area and authority.

A third type can be identified as transnational ideological groups, those compelled by ideology or religion to train and fight in foreign areas. For example, some Islamic Fundamentalists carry out what they believe to be God's will by traveling to aid struggling Islamic fighters in different nations, as was the case during the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan.(22)

Finally, the most recent development is the organization of mercenaries into firms with internal structures similar to those of business corporations. Whereas paid soldiers of the previous three groups fall under the jurisdiction, at least in theory, of domestic or international customary law, employees of international business corporations answer only to the firm. The important distinction here is that such firms are bound by the terms of a business contract and not necessarily those of international law.

Approximately 90 private security forces of varying types exist in Africa today.(23) There are 80 in Angola alone because the Angolan government requires commercial firms such as oil and mining companies to provide their own security.(24) The trend in global military downsizing continues to create a glut of professional military experts and soldiers. For example, the world's military forces fell from 28,320,000 in 1987 to 23,5000,000 in 1994.(25) The end of the Cold War marked the decline in superpower involvement in regional conflicts, thus creating a demand for military forces in many developing countries. Basic economics explains that the intersection of a supply and demand curve in the case at hand creates a market in which a high demand dictates a high price. Hence, private security firms continue to emerge around the globe. South Africa is today's leading supplier with registered security companies such as Combat Force, Investments Surveys, Honey Badger Arms and Ammunition, Shield Security, Kas Enterprises, Saracen International, and Longreach Security.(26) International military firms based in other regions of the world include Alpha Five, Corporate Trading International, Omega Support Ltd., Parasec Strategic Concept, Shibata Security Bridge Resources, Jardine Securicor Gurkha Services (Hong Kong), Gurkha Security Guards (Isle of Man, UK), Special Project Service Ltd. (UK), Defence Systems Ltd. (UK),(27) and Stuart Mills International.(28) In the United States the Vinnell Corp. has long held contracts to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard. It is also reported to have run "black" programs during the Vietnam War and to have provided "tactical support" and advice to the Saudi military when it retook the Grand Mosque at Mecca after it was occupied by opposition forces in 1979.(29)

A U.S. company, Airscan, headquartered in Titusville, FL, headed by Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Joe Stringham, is reportedly employing href="#N_29_">(29)

A U.S. company, Airscan, headquartered in Titusville, FL, headed by Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Joe Stringham, is reportedly employing former American military officers to guard oil installations, most owned by Chevron, in Cabinda, Angola. It uses Cessna 337s, equipped with various sensors, to provide aerial surveillance on the periphery of the oil fields.(30)

Perhaps the most successful and highly publicized mercenary firms are Pretoria, South Africa-based Executive Outcomes; London-England based Sandline International; and Alexandria, Virginia-based Military Professional Resources Incorporated. The following profile focuses on these three corporations. In detailing each firm's background, organization, major operations, military hardware, horizontal corporate associations and finances, it becomes possible to understand just how and why the supply and demand for corporate mercenary groups are rapidly increasing. Although I list them as mercenary firms I do so mostly for the sake of a convenient categorization. I acknowledge that the term "mercenary" is a loaded, subjective one, carrying lots of emotional baggage and connotations, many of which are not relevant to the groups described in this report. In so doing I am not making value judgements or accusing them of unethical or illegal behavior. I simply mean that they are private sector firms, not working directly for a government, which offer either military training and services or provide actual combatants for use in conflict. It should be noted that many of the sources of this information for this report come from nonofficial, public sources such as newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. While I have tried to verify the information by checking with the profiled firms I cannot vouch for the complete accuracy of the cited sources. When they conflict with information received from the companies themselves I have so noted.

Executive Outcomes
Address: Private Bag X 105
Republic of South Africa
Phone: 27 12 666 7005
Fax: 27 12 666 7004
Web Site:


Created in 1989, EO (Executive Outcomes) is an incorporated private security group registered in Great Britain and South Africa.(31) EO markets its military expertise in achieving regional security and stability through the deployment of trained and experienced military personnel.(32) In the past, EO has rejected proposals from Sudanese rebels and Algerian religious factions, maintaining that it only works for legitimate businesses and governments, or at least those recognized by the United Nations.(33) Recently, however, EO confirmed that some of its former employees were among those that the Mobutu government of Zaire tried to recruit to help prop up his regime prior to being overthrown by Laurent Kabila earlier this year.(34)

EO provides services in armored warfare, battle strategies, confidential "advisory" training, clandestine warfare, combat air patrol, equipment capabilities, medical aid, sniper training, and special forces.(35) The firm claims to be active outside of Africa, having aided drug-enforcement agencies, international mining companies and Southeast Asian governments.(36) EO's growing clientele roster is evidence of its many successes around the world.


Eben Barlow, a retired South African intelligence officer under the old apartheid regime, founded EO and, until recently, was the Chief Executive Officer. But he and his deputy, Lafras Luttingh, have reportedly pulled out of EO. It is now run by CEO Nick van den Bergh, who headed up EO's previously successful operation in Angola.(37) He is a former officer of the South African Parachute Brigade.(38) Barlow recruited most of EO's members from the 32nd Battalion of the South African Defense Force, a notorious apartheid era counterinsurgency group.(39) EO's officer corps consists of a majority of whites whose background and experiences cover the gamut from professional assassins to crack bush guerillas. A large portion of its personnel serve in other military firms during times of peace, since EO does not keep a permanent standing force. EO, however, maintains a database containing more than 2000 contract soldiers on call.(40)

Major Operations:

By many accounts EO conducted itself well in Sierra Leone. It worked closely with aid agencies and government officials in returning child soldiers to civilian life. It assisted in civilian resettlement for displaced persons and provided security, logistics, and intelligence to humanitarian groups. (58) Prior to its leaving the country John Leigh, the Sierra Leone envoy to Washington, said, "The government of Sierra Leone believes EO can do a better job [providing security] than the Sierra Leone army."(59) It should also be noted that EO is not an example of a group of whites battling blacks. In Sierra Leone black EO troops outnumbered whites by about eight to one.(60)

Yet the security provided by EO has not lasted. Robberies and killings still take place. (61) Also, in 1996 three expatriates were arrested. They were reportedly hired as part of a plan to land white mercenaries in the Kono district to dislocate the diamond industry, then being guarded by Executive Outcomes personnel.(62) If true, this raises the specter of mercenaries fighting mercenaries. Most importantly, earlier this year a coup organized by the Sierra Leone military overthrew the elected government.

Also, as one writer notes, in order to hire EO the Sierra Leone government agreed to pay EO a monthly stipend of $1.225 million, reduced to $1 million on the eve of EO's departure from the country in February 1997. EO was already owed $18.5 million. To compensate for a lower monthly indemnity, it is believed that EO received mining concessions, soon sold to BE. Once the contract expired, 100 of the 285 EO personnel in Sierra Leone were left behind and hired by an EO sister company, Lifeguard.(63) Thus it is argued that Sierra Leone has mortgaged part of its future wealth to EO.(64)

Military Hardware:

Obtaining military equipment is not an obstacle for EO. In the past, South African forces had little difficulty in acquiring weapons, especially through European intermediaries, because of worldwide arms overproduction. To avoid expensive weapons procurement costs, EO purchases advanced yet rugged equipment that is easily maintainable. EO weapons deployed during past operations include:(65)

Mi-17 helicopter gunships equipped with 4-barreled Gatling guns and a 30mm automatic grenade launcher

EO is unrivaled among mercenary groups because it is the only company to maintain its own air force. EO flies two used Boeing 727s as supply planes, each purchased for only $550,000 from American Airlines.(66) EO also leased two Andover transport aircraft from a British-based intermediary, Technical Aviation, to use in Angola and Sierra Leone. These planes were formerly operated by the UK's Royal Air Force Queen's Flight.(67) Given the fact that EO is not conducting field operations every day it prefers to lease, as opposed to own, aircraft due to the high costs of maintenance, storage, and operation. EO's air power includes:(68)

Soviet MiG-23 jet fighter-bombers Soviet Mi-17 armed transport helicopters

SNEB rocket pods

68mm 40A rockets

EO's airwing is thought to be at least part of, if not altogether , Ibis Air, originally called Capricorn Air (Capricorne Systems Limited), an EO associated company.(69) Notwithstanding its sizeable airwing, EO always requests contracting governments to provide the necessary arms and weapons.

Corporate Associations:

EO was one of 20 firms under a holding company known as SRC (Strategic Resources Corporation). SRC has since been closed down and there is no longer a connection. Up to 50 companies are believed to have been associated with it in the past. (70) SRC's board members include Van der Bergh. Barlow is reported to have retained links to various companies associated with EO, such as Ibis Air.(71) The current companies specialize in a broad range of activities including gold and diamond mining, air transport, hospital construction, computer software, and demining.(72)

EO itself owns 32 companies with specialties varying from computer software to adult education.(73) Although EO markets military combat capability exclusively, it reportedly mines gold in Uganda and drills oil boreholes in Ethiopia.(74) In order to protect financial stakes in natural resources, EO creates local ancillary companies which provide security to local mining companies. For example, EO reportedly set up a smaller company known as Lifeguard to prote In order to protect financial stakes in natural resources, EO creates local ancillary companies which provide security to local mining companies. For example, EO reportedly set up a smaller company known as Lifeguard to protect mining companies operating in the Sierra Leone area.(75) Lifeguard and Teleservices are in charge of guarding the assets of Branch Energy. Saracen, also believed to be a subsidiary of EO, operates in Angola and Uganda and specializes in personnel and business protection. Reportedly these security assets always arrive after EO's departure from a country, obtaining lucrative security contracts with energy companies.(76)

An example of the firm's intricate corporate network is the relationship between EO and mining companies. Diamondworks, a company associated with Sandline, recently purchased Branch Energy. In the past it was said that EO was a major shareholder in Branch Energy, although EO states that neither it or any of its branch companies have any interest in or holding in BE or any other Branch company. Branch Energy was contracted to work the Kono diamond mines in Sierra Leone.(77).

Anthony Buckingham, a veteran of the British SAS Regiment, is chairman of both Branch Energy and Heritage Oil & Gas (HO&G), both headquartered in London, and has played an influential role in the operations of EO. He is also a major shareholder in Diamondworks, a publicly quoted company in Canada.(78) It has been reported that EO's close ties to the oil company Heritage Oil helped EO land its assignment in Angola. Buckingham later assisted in drawing up EO's contract with Sierra Leone.(79) EO's holdings also include Branch International.

Branch Energy (BE) has diamond concessions in Angola and Sierra Leone. Branch Minerals owns a number of gold concessions. Heritage Oil & Gas is prospecting for oil in Uganda.(80) BE sold its Angolan and Sierra Leonean concessions and equipment to Carson Gold Corp., renamed DiamondWorks, mentioned above, in October 1996.(81)

On the political stage, EO claims to have relations with 30 governments.(82) The organization also has an extensive influential network in Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.(83) It is also reported to be expanding its operations to the Persian Gulf area, possibly Bahrain, Qatar or Yemen.(84) EO reportedly advised the Indonesian Government on how to rescue hostages held by rebels in 1996. Reportedly the operation was so successful it was believed the Indonesians had been advised by the British SAS.(85)

Financial Information:

Salaries for EO hires range anywhere from $2000-$13,000 per month depending on the worker's experience and area of expertise. Contract military instructors receive approximately $2500 each month, while pilots receive closer to $7,000 each month.(86) These salaries often quadruple the amount that can be earned in the most prestigious government armies of Africa. In addition to a high income, EO provides life insurance for its workers.(87)

In Sierra Leone, International Monetary Fund (IMF) money was used to finance EO's contract fee. Western powers supported the IMF initiative, remembering the long protracted war in Liberia and its devastating effect on the economy.(88) EO and its affiliated companies reportedly reaped further financial benefits from the contracted diamond mining concessions.(89) The Kono diamond fields yield approximately $300 million dollars in diamonds annually.(90) One report asserts that, in total, EO reportedly acquired payments valued at around $100 million dollars for their services of less than a year.(91) EO's annual revenues are reportedly between $25 million and $40 million dollars.(92) According to EO its revenue for the last four years was $55 million (U.S. dollars).(93)

Sandline International
535 King's Road
London, England SW10 OSZ
Phone: 44 171 351 5555
Fax: 44 171 351 5555
Phone: 703/921-9619 (U.S. Representative)
Fax: 703/921-9621 (U.S. Representative)


Formerly known as Plaza 107 Ltd., Sandline International formalized its trading name in 1996.(95) Sandline International is owned by a company called Adson Holdings. Sandline is a client of Plaza 107, a company owned by Michael Grunberg. Heritage Oil & Gas is also a client of Plaza 107 and the two companies share representation and support services provided by Plaza 107. Chief Executive Timothy Spicer, a former senior U.N. peacekeeper in Bosnia and British Colonel, created Sandline in the mid-1990s.(96) Sandline describes itself as "an international military consultancy company specializing in the provision of advice and problem resolution to legitimate governments and international organizations. It is an independent entity which is privately owned by a number of senior former military personnel from the United Kingdom and the United States armed forces."(97) Sandline notes that its purpose is:

to fill a void in the post Cold War era. Its purpose was to offer Governments specialized military expertise at a time when Western nations' desire, and, in some instances, capacity to provide support had waned."(98) This international private security firm provides military services in training, strategy and support similar to that of EO, but specializes in internal conflicts. The core skills it offers include: 1. Advisory strategic planning, operational research and analysis, structural reviews, threat analysis, and project development. 2. Training in basic and advanced multi-service, special operations, intelligence, electronic warfare, and de-mining operations. 3. Operations that provide reaction forces, special operations forces, and air operations. 4. Humanitarian/Civic Action medical services, water purification, road and bridge building, and disaster relief. 5. Hostage negotiation and integration of warring factions. 6. Defense and Police force review, evaluation, and restructuring. 7. Counter-Narcotic, Counter-Terrorist, and Counter-Proliferation training. 8. Maritime support operations. 9. Combat Support and Combat Service support in hostile environments. (99)

Claiming adherence to international doctrines and the Geneva Convention, Sandline only accepts recognized governments as clients.(100)


Sandline operates out of its British office, but the firm is actually registered in the Bahamas.(101) The company's registered address is: Sandline International, Suite 205 Saffrey Square, Bank Lane, P.O. Box N8188, Nassau, Bahamas.

Major Operations:

Sandline's best-known operation to date was to try to quell a nine-year armed independence movement in Bougainville, PNG (Papua New Guinea). A British firm, Defen

Major Operations:

Sandline's best-known operation to date was to try to quell a nine-year armed independence movement in Bougainville, PNG (Papua New Guinea). A British firm, Defense Security Systems, informed Spicer that the government of PNG was interested in hiring mercenaries to defeat the rebels.(102) Eyeing PNG's natural resources, Sandline International approached Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan to train and provide logistical support to the PNGDF (Papua New Guinea Defense Force) in exchange for a stake in the Bougainville mine. The PNG National Security Council authorized a $36 million dollar contract.(103)

In February 1997, former British soldiers led approximately 70 EO soldiers into PNG.(104) Although the PNG government denied that Sandline personnel would participate in direct combat, Sandline confirmed front-line participation.(105) Political disputes between PM Sir Julius Chan and PNGDF Brigadier-General Jerry Singirok, who opposed the hiring of Sandline, led to harsh criticisms against the deal. When the terms of the contract were leaked to the public, riots erupted to protest alleged corrupt dealings between Sir Julius and Sandline. By March 21, all hired Sandline workers were airlifted from PNG. Only Spicer remained to face a judicial inquiry concerning the Sandline contract. The Andrew Commission of Inquiry ruled that the contract between Sandline and the PNG government was legitimate. Further, the Commission found that Sandline's actions had appropriately complied with the terms of the contract.(106) Four months after the PNG affair, Singirok confessed to having accepted $70,000 in secret payments from J&S Franklin (JSF), a British arms dealer, before leading the revolt against Sandline.(107) The payments, which Singirok admitted using for personal expenses, were reportedly to create opposition to the Sandline contract.(108) This was not the first time JSF was involved with a mercenary group. In February 1995 JSF was contacted by the Sierra Leone government. In turn JSF subcontracted Gurkha Security Guards to train the Sierra Leone military force. (109)

Since the proposed Sandline contract became public, Prime Minister Chan was forced to step down as was Brigadier General Singirok. The new government has pledged to launch a new investigation into the Sandline deal.

Military Hardware:

The military equipment Sandline prepared to deploy had it carried out the PNG mission includes:(110)

Sandline has ready access to these materials, although it is unclear whether the weapons above were sub-contracted from EO or owned by Sandline.

Corporate Associations:

The Sandline inquiry(111) revealed that Rupert McGowan, a senior executive of Jardine Fleming, a major financial investment firm in Hong Kong, had mediated the deal between Sandline and the PNG government. McGowan allegedly paid Sandline and transferred money to the PNG government for Sandline.(112) On May 14 McCowan was fired. Jardine Fleming said that McCowan "did not inform Jardine Fleming senior management of all of his activities in relation to Papua New Guinea and we believe he acted beyond the scope of his authority."(113)

Coincidentally, another private security firm called Jardine [emphasis added] Securicor Gurkhas Services, formed in 1993 and run by a former British Army major, Chris Hardy, is based in Hong Kong.

A German supply company, IBCOL (International Business Company Helicopter Services Limited) was also cited for dealing with Sandline.(114) IBCOL was allegedly involved in a deal to provide military hardware and equipment such as M17 and M18 transport helicopters to the PNGDF.(115)

Sandline, unwilling to miss out on the lucrative concessions of natural resources, also maintains connections with the corporate sector. Spicer had initially proposed a joint deal to the PNG government by including the British-Australian mining company known as RTZ-CRA.(116)

Robert Friedland, an aggressive Canadian business entrepreneur who deals in nickel deposits, gold mines, and oil holes, has financial ties to both Sandline and Executive Outcomes through his associated company Diamondworks.(117)

Anthony Buckingham, already established as an important figure in the engagements of EO, is just as influential with Sandline. As previously stated, Buckingham is the chairman of Heritage Oil, the company that owns Sandline International.(118)

Financial Information:

Sandline's PNG contract was partially financed through unauthorized budget cuts and the PNG government's sale of a mining company.(119) Sandline received an initial payment of $18.5 million dollars. Although the firm's mercenaries were removed from the PNG within a month, Sandline expects full payment of $36 million dollars.(120)

Military Professional Resources Incorporated
1201 East Abingdon Drive, Suite 425
Alexandria, Virginia 22314 USA
Phone: (703) 684-0853
Fax: (703) 684-3528


Headquartered in the United States, the logo of MPRI (Military Professional Resources Incorporated) displays a medieval sword piercing through the company's acronym. Its advertising slogan claims MPRI to be "the greatest corporate assemblage of military expertise in the world." This international firm provides basic training, doctrinal analysis, wargaming operations and non-military services in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Founded in 1987 by eight former U.S. senior military officers, MPRI says it only operates in areas approved by the U.S. State Department.(121) MPRI has very close ties to the U.S. government. Several former high-ranking U.S. military officers are employees of MPRI, including Gen. Carl E. Vuono, U.S. Army Chief of Staff from 1987-1992, and Gen. Crosby E. Saint, commander of the U.S. Army in Europe from 1988-1992.


MPRI is controlled by a group of corporate officers and a 14-member Board of Directors.(122) The Board contains an Executive Committee of four directors who collectively can act independently of the Board. The Board is subdivided into four committees on finance, ethics, business development, and public affairs. Chairman of the Board and member of the Executive Committee is retired General Frederick J. Kroesen. President and CEO of MPRI and Chairman of the Executive Committee is retired Major General Vernon B. Lewis, Jr.(123) Members serving on the Corporate Board and Board of Directors offer a wide rangesen. President and CEO of MPRI and Chairman of the Executive Committee is retired Major General Vernon B. Lewis, Jr.(123) Members serving on the Corporate Board and Board of Directors offer a wide range of expertise with careers in international business, financial management, corporate affairs, and defense contracting, in addition to their military backgrounds and combat experience.(124) The corporation has over 350 employees and a resource pool of over 2,000 military officers. Each year the pool expands as hundreds of former military professionals are added to MPRI's database. In order to handle increasing volumes of business, the firm maintains offices across the United States and in several foreign nations.

Major Operations:

The firm has won several overseas military contracts which include: sending 45 personnel to guard the Serbian border to enforce the embargo on supplying the Bosnian Serbs; working with Taiwanese and Swedish armed forces; and winning the Democracy Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) contract with the Republic of Croatia.

In March 1994 the Pentagon referred the Croatian Defense Minister to MPRI.(125) Since 1994, retired Major General Richard B. Griffitts has led 15 MPRI employees in training the Croatian army so that it can provide national security and meet defense needs as Croatia transitions into a democratic society.(126) Reportedly the Croatian government hired MPRI to advise them on how to construct a civilian-controlled army and to provide leadership skills training. The U.S. State Department only approved MPRI's activities after determining that the course did not involve tactical training or otherwise violate the 1991 U.N. Security Council arms embargo on Yugoslavia which made direct military assistance illegal.

Although MPRI denies conducting offensive operations, the August 1995 Operation Storm which resulted in Croatia recapturing its previously Serb-held Krajina region utilized typical American operational tactics, including integrated air, artillery and infantry movements, and the use of maneuver warfighting techniques to destroy Serbian command and control networks.(127)

In May 1996, MPRI landed its highest profile assignment to date. The firm was granted a three-year Bosnian contract, edging out competing firms Science Applications International Corporation of San Diego, CA and BDM International Inc. of McLean, VA.(128) On July 16, 1996 a 13-month renewable contract at an estimated value of $50 million dollars was signed between MPRI and the Bosnian Federation armed forces.(129) MPRI recently won an

extension of the contract, to run for another year, with the Bosnian government.

Currently 185 MPRI personnel participate in the U.S. supervised "Train and Equip" program. The program's objective is to integrate and build up the Bosnian army of Muslims and Croats against the Serbs. By providing developmental assistance for a new Ministry of Defense Organization logistical structure, personnel management and training program, the "Train and Equip" program hopes to establish the military balance required for an enduring peace in Bosnia.(130) MPRI runs a school and battlefield simulations center near Hadzici and is helping construct a large military firing range near Livno in Croat-controlled Western Herzegovina.(131) The program received $103 million dollars worth of surplus U.S. military equipment and financial aid from a number of sources.(132) The Pentagon pledged $200,000 dollars in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds to train Bosnian military officers at U.S. facilities. Islamic countries such as Brunei, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates also provided funds totaling $140 million dollars.(133)

Proponents of the "Train and Equip" program believe that the sooner Bosnian forces are capable of defending themselves, the sooner international troops can be removed from the region. However, the goal of strengthening Muslim-Croat units to balance the Bosnian Serb forces may have dangerous consequences. Military experts assert that an increase of arms and funds to Bosnian forces may lead to renewed violence. Although MPRI is limited to training the Bosnian army in defense tactics, soldiers say there is slight distinction between defensive and offensive strategies.(134) A newly equipped Bosnian army might be motivated to recapture territory lost to the Bosnian Serbs in 1995. The influx of military hardware into the Balkan region could endanger the control agreement, and continued buildup of the Bosnian army's "self-defense" weaponry risks breaking down the cease-fire agreed to under the 1995 Dayton Accords.(135)

Military Hardware:

U.S. surplus equipment donated to the Bosnian mission include:(136)

Links to U.S. Government:

MPRI's strongest relations are with U.S. governmental departments and agencies. Almost 90 percent of MPRI's clients are based in the United States.(137) These include: Department of State, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Advanced Research Projects Agency, The U.S. National Defense University, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army War College, Headquarters Department of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Headquarters Department of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, and the U.S. Army.(138)

Financial Information:

Annual net revenues for MPRI over the last 10 years reportedly exceeded $7.2 million dollars. MPRI's business in 1996 alone grossed more than $24 million dollars.(139)


Will mercenary firms have a positive or negative impact on international security and stability? Some human rights groups believe that, under current domestic and international law, mercenaries lack accountability. Increasing accusations against mercenary personnel of egregious human rights violations fuel the debate.(140) Carlos Castano, a Colombian right-wing paramilitary leader, is accused of leading a private mercenary army which has massacred hundreds of peasants as part of a brutal anti-Communist crusade, tacitly backed by the government and military.(141)

Hired soldiers are often flown into designated areas on private company-owned helicopters and similarly airlifted out of a region once the operation is finished. Mercenaries conveniently bypass the legal customs procedures of passports and visas, preventing smaller states from keeping identifiable records of those who have entered or exited the country. Such a provision was includs conveniently bypass the legal customs procedures of passports and visas, preventing smaller states from keeping identifiable records of those who have entered or exited the country. Such a provision was included in Sandline's PNG contract stating that "all Sandline personnel will be furnished with the necessary multiple entry visas without passport stamps and authorization to enter and leave the country free from hindrance at any time...."(142) Guaranteed anonymity of mercenaries obviously hinders the process of bringing workers of mercenary firms to trial while lessening a soldier's fear of punishment for wrongdoing. A group like Executive Outcomes may also evade being legally classified as a mercenary firm due to the vague terms used in international law.

The impact of mercenary firms hits closer to home when similar issues of accountability arise in the U.S. privatization of armed forces. Such companies in the United States must obtain licenses from the U.S. State Department to work in foreign areas. Congress, however, has no authority over military groups unrelated to the Pentagon.(143) Therefore, private military firms would be an effective means for an administration to intervene in a region without actually committing "U.S. forces." Some believe this has already occurred. By hiring MPRI to work in Bosnia, the U.S. administration has avoided the need to take the issue of involvement to Congress or the American public.

Privatization also enables Washington to avoid politically volatile situations overseas. For example, in 1995 the U.S. government hired Ronco, a private de-mining company, to work in Rwanda. The United States sidestepped the UN embargo against supplying Rwanda with military hardware by importing explosives and armored transport through Ronco.(144)

UN Special Rapporteur Enrique Bernales Ballesteros presents several additional human rights issues in his 1997 Report on the Question of the Use of Mercenaries as a Means of Violating Human Rights and Impeding the Exercise of the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination. He discusses how the military or economic presence of a private security firm infringes on a nation's right to self-determination. This accusation was made against the PNG government when it was suspected of selling national assets to hire Sandline. A state may also compromise its right to self-determination even without selling or conceding vital resources since paying for mercenaries inevitably diverts funds from the state. Some observers say that funds used to hire mercenaries should be invested in a state's internal development to target poverty, education, population control, environmental protection, business development, or agricultural productivity.(145) African governments counter that such programs are futile in an environment without law and order. Therefore, private security firms are needed to establish stability and make the region attractive to foreign investors. Interviews reveal that Sierra Leone citizens expressed respect and gratitude for the services of EO, thus providing local support for state-sponsored mercenaries. Until EO arrived, citizens of Sierra Leone were living in a constant war zone.(146)

Several factors contribute to the recent phenomenon of mercenary firms. The United States and other major powers are less inclined to intervene militarily in peripheral states in the post-Cold War era. No longer pawns in the great ideological clash between capitalism and communism, small governments are free to give renewed emphasis to efficient economic development.

Despite moral considerations, privatization generally saves money whether the objective is to provide health care, education or, in the case at hand, peace enforcement. It is hardly surprising that private security firms have been more efficient than international forces since free competition tends to select the most cost-effective companies. Cost comparisons between the U.N.'s failed peacekeeping operations in Angola and EO's successful operations there indicate that the use of a private army was a rewarding investment and a superior bargain for the Angolan government. As previously mentioned, EO fulfilled its Angolan contract for $60 million dollars, while U.N. operations for Angola's installation of a unity government cost over $1 million dollars a day for two years. EO's price looks particularly cost-effective when one considers the cost of maintaining the Angolan military, which had previously been unable to bring UNITA to the negotiating table. Just during 1994 and 1995 total Angolan military expenditures were $678 million.(147)

One problem with privatized military firms is that they develop into corporations controlling multiple-service companies. Groups entangled in a firm's corporate web find quick deals among industry, mercenaries and arms dealers maneuvering massive amounts of money, power and weapons. Such expansion conceals the exact nature of their work and the extent of influence each firm has in a given area. These corporations are capable of regrouping and forming subsidiaries to operate away from public scrutiny. The presence of ancillary companies might seem harmless, but establishing associates in a diamond or oil region often gives the overseeing company a strong, perhaps dominant, foothold in the economy of that country.(148)

Another potential problem is the prospect of mercenary firms working for transnational corporations, as opposed to states, in order to protect their economic interests. The potential scenario of a mercenary firm working to provide security for a logging firm clear-cutting forest in the Amazon Basin, against the wishes of the Brazilian government, may sound fanciful but cannot be entirely dismissed. Many private firms already do security work for international petroleum companies.

Even supporters of the use of mercenary groups acknowledge that many questions regarding their functions remain to be answered. These include: What is the function of a private mercenary firm: is it to perpetuate the regime in power, or to survive and prosper as a business organization? Should outside finances be made available to failing states when they believe they need the services of private firms? Does the use of outside military forces and resources contribute to a state's legitimacy? What are the funding guidelines, particularly regarding the relationship with the resources of the host government? And is there a danger that the rules and standards of private mercenary firms will change, as competition heats up, resulting in their offering services to sub-national groups, insurgents and rebel groups, and not just governments.(149)

Dr. William Reno, author of Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone, describes the transformation in the organization of African states as a factor in the rise of mercenary firms. African states are regressing to pre-colonial days of isolated economies and interventions by mercenaries. Meanwhile, African leaders are increasingly willing to surrender vital resources and compromise formal state institutions to sustain political power. The development of informal links between foreign investors and heads of governments confuses the distinction between state and private enterprise.(150) This lack of separation often leads to rampant corruption throughout military and government ranks, causing citizens and supporters to lose faith in their system. This can become a self-perpetuating dynamic when government leaders lose the confidence of those who back them as well as confidence in the steadfastness of those wh system. This can become a self-perpetuating dynamic when government leaders lose the confidence of those who back them as well as confidence in the steadfastness of those who support them.

A case in point is former Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko's refusal to train his own military, fearing a revolt, and hiring French mercenaries instead.(151) For leaders with tenuous grips on political power, mercenaries who market an apolitical stance appear to be the safer option. The warm reception of hired soldiers under these circumstances diminishes the possibility that mercenary firms will subside.

Rather, an increase in the use of mercenaries seems more likely. Sierra Leone's recent coup confirms such fears among African leaders. In that government forces ousted the popularly elected president in May 1997 after EO left the region, suggested that EO's services had been instrumental in sustaining national order. Citizens of Sierra Leone actually blamed the government for not having renewed EO's contract.

A further question to be asked is if other nations are not going to step in to contribute to multilateral peacekeeping or peacemaking forces, why shouldn't a state have a chance to hire a force able to keep order? This is not a new idea. Proposals to hire Nepalese Ghurkas to give the U.N. permanent professional rapid reaction forces have been around for years.(152)

Often, mercenaries construct or impose an equilibrium in a region by eliminating or suppressing the opposition. Stopping the violence, however, does not necessarily solve the underlying problems that caused fighting to erupt in the first place. Based on evidence to date, corporate mercenary firms are an inadequate means of long-term conflict resolution because they leave a region just as vulnerable to disruption and chaos as it was when they arrived. When firms leave, repressed or newly formed opposition groups who no longer see a threat revert to violence. Mercenary companies, in effect, become a temporary means of propping up the existing order but do nothing to address underlying causes of unrest and violence. While this may be a valid criticism of the long-term benefits of military intervention by a mercenary group it is not a valid criticism of the specific group. After all, they are hired precisely for their military services. They are one part of what must be a multi-layered approach. If the other necessary economic and social development groups are not involved it is unfair to blame a mercenary group for not achieving long-term stability. That is, after all, outside their mandate and not their job.

Such implications exist for MPRI's role in Croatia's military campaign of 1995. MPRI claims that their programs teach respect for democracy and human rights in addition to military strategies.(153) Some allege that a few months of MPRI training enabled a formerly impotent Croatian army to carry out violent offensives against the Serbs. The retrained Croatian forces destroyed Serbian villages, killing hundreds of civilians and leaving over 170,000 homeless.(154) While it is arguable whether Croatian forces could have improved so dramatically after such a short period of training, it does give a clear example of what training could enable a recipient client to do. Unfortunately, training, like weapons, is fungible; there is no telling what to what use it will ultimately be put.

Another, less-recognized concern is that the building-up of a state's military forces, even if only by training, means increased fiscal pressures on the national budget which eliminates money for vital domestic expenditures. Recently, Carl Bildt, the former U.N. High Representative to Bosnia, noted, "It is one thing to give away tanks and artillery. But everyone with even the remotest experience of building up military forces knows that this is only a small part of the cost. It is the cost of training, maintaining and modernizing these forces over time that risks being too large a burden."(155)

Others wonder about the propriety of hiring a private company to undertake what is traditionally a state responsibility. Time magazine noted that, "Given the risks posed by training the Bosnians and the importance the U.S. has given the mission, it seems especially proper to ask if a private company ought to be undertaking it. The desire to protect American troops is understandable, but will the Serbs really distinguish between them and MPRI trainers? By hiring consultant mercenaries to do a messy job, it is easier for Washington to ignore the consequences and fudge the responsibility. Once again, for better or worse, that seems to be an overshadowing aim of America's policy in Bosnia."(156)

The destruction in the Balkans inflicted by the Croatian forces opens up a series of moral and political problems for the international community. The U.N. finds itself adjusting to these events since it was limited to entering only inter-state conflicts in the past. Disaster resulting from the U.N.'s inability to mobilize forces on short notice in Somalia and Rwanda also showed an urgent need for coordinated efforts in intra-regional conflicts. Meanwhile, seeing the failure of OAU (Organization of African Unity) units in Rwanda, it became apparent that African states lacked the military capabilities to carry out a humanitarian or peace operation on their own. In response, U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommended the creation of a rapid reaction force.(157) The Secretary General proposed creating a military and humanitarian force on constant standby to intervene in sub-Saharan Africa, a region in which the prospects of peace are distant. Until such a resolution is passed and enforced through concerted efforts, African governments without viable alternatives will rely on soldiers for hire.

As private security firms are being deluged with contract offers, efforts at regulation are increasing. In a move directed at groups like EO, the South African government has proposed legislation to establish governmental control over South African nationals and companies offering "foreign military assistance." The bill is intended to control the export of military skills, not to ban them. In the future, any individual or company wanting to offer such services will have to apply to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) which also has responsibility for arms export controls. The NCACC will then recommend to the Minister of Defence whether authorization should be granted. An offer of military assistance without authorization would be an offense.

In recent testimony before a South African parliamentary committee EO testified that the legislation may prevent it from providing a legitimate military training service that could make the continent safe for foreign investment. EO's head, Nick van den Bergh, said, "We would love to be accredited by the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations, but we cannot be...without support from our government and because of the poor perception about our company and what we do, mainly due to bad press."(158)

Foreign military assistance is defined very widely, covering military services or military related services, including direct combat participation in armed conflict; military assistance such as advice or training; personnel, financial, logistical, intelligence, or operational support; personnel recruitment; medical or para-medical services; and procurement.

The South African bill provides that authorization may not beerational support; personnel recruitment; medical or para-medical services; and procurement.

The South African bill provides that authorization may not be granted where it would: conflict with international law; result in infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms; endanger peace "by introducing destabilising capabilities" or "negatively influence the balance of power" in a region; "support" or encourage terrorism in any manner; contribute to the escalation of a regional conflict; prejudice South Africa's interests; or "be unacceptable for any other reason."(159)

Beyond governmental action, public interest groups at the local level are also getting involved in stopping the mercenary trade. A non-governmental organization in London known as the Africa Research and Information Bureau (ARIB) works to ban mercenaries from the African continent.(160) The group campaigns for an international register naming known mercenaries that can be checked at airports. ARIB's coordinator, Kayode Fayemi, while raising the same concerns as those underlying the South African legislation, finds transnational ideological mercenaries or "confessional mercenaries" most dangerous because their extremist convictions may be destructive to the state in which they are operating.(161)

Furthermore, opponents of corporate mercenaries advocate that stringent laws should be applied to the transport and use of mercenaries, just as occurs with drug use or arms sales. On the other hand, supporters cite initiatives to establish codes of conduct for arms sales as a possible guide for regulating the sale of military expertise. With the sale of arms, a recognized nation must meet a set of international criteria before it is permitted to purchase massive amounts of weapons. Instead of banning mercenaries entirely, supporters of the mercenary trade encourage similar regulatory standards for nations who seek the services of private security firms.(162)

It can be argued, at least with respect to some mercenary organizations, that their attempts to train national military forces cannot be any worse than what states already do. The United States, for example, has been training foreign military personnel for decades through its IMET program. Some find that the United States has not been particularly discriminating in deciding to whom it should provide military expertise. One recent study found that 94 percent of all nations in Africa received U.S. military assistance from 1990 to 1995. Of the 3,408 African officers trained during this period, 71 percent came from authoritarian regimes or dissolving nation-states.(163) U.N. peacekeeping forces have also been implicated in egregious human rights abuses.(164) Some foreign graduates of U.S. IMET-sponsored schools, such as the School of the Americas, have been notorious as human rights abusers.(165)

In fact one can validly argue that it is the modern state-centered form of military service which is the most destructive. It is the period since the French Revolution when military service came to be associated exclusively with nationalism, that has encompassed the most destructive wars in history. As one academic recently noted, "The morality of nationalism was one of undivided loyalty to the state. In this moral paradigm, no restraints governed the manner in which states conducted their foreign policies.... A nation no longer fought its enemy within the bounds of a moral system accepted by all sides, where a position of power or the honour of a king was at stake; the contest would now be between moral systems, with each side believing that the true one was invested in its nation or people....Where previously soldiers had discriminated between combatants and non-combatants, spared the wounded and treated prisoners of war with dignity, these reflections of a common morality were now to be subordinated to the task of wiping evil off the face of the earth. Down this path lies area bombing, the holocaust, and ethnic cleansing."(166)

Nor is it particularly damning to be accused of fighting for money. If people are going to be judged on this basis, one would have to indict all military establishments, including the U.S. armed forces. Anyone who does not think that money is not a motivating factor for at least some U.S. service personnel need only look at recruiting commercials on television or watch the military service organizations lobby Congress for a pay increase for the active duty forces.

In the end, the future of conflict resolution greatly rests on the actions of the international community. Mr. Enrique Bernales makes several broad recommendations such as: encouraging states to outlaw mercenaries, studying the connection between terrorism and mercenary activities, urging international preventive action, and pushing the ratification of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries (Convention).(167) The Convention, in particular, reflects the lack of immediacy felt by the community at large in dealing with the rise of mercenaries. Drafted by the U.N. in 1989, the Convention needs ratification by 22 countries to enter into force.(168) Australia only recently became the 12th nation to sign, while urging other governments to do the same.(169) However, signatories such as Angola and Zaire, who overtly hire mercenaries, show that the Convention alone will not end the use of private armed forces.

Fortunately, leading security firms so far have been working for legitimate governments and not extremist religious factions, anti-government rebel groups, or so-called "rogue states."(170) But even respected clients do not alter the point that corporate mercenaries encourage the idea that "might makes right." Business suits and office suites notwithstanding, these khaki and Brooks Brothers-clad, dual-outfitted mercenaries endorse the idea that power belongs to those who can afford it. Firms like EO, Sandline, MPRI, and others seek acceptance or apathy among the public and international community. However, if they receive neither, mercenary companies pursuing large profits might soon find that the only niche left in the international market is to work for "illegitimate" governments. Needless to say, if security companies ever began contracting their services to rogue states, political and moral debates become moot. Even if such firms honor their pledges to work only for internationally recognized or legitimate governments, and not sub-national groups, that would not be cause for great comfort. Almost all of the world's nations, including those which are repressive, authoritarian, egregious human rights abusers, or outright dictatorships are duly recognized and enjoy membership in the United Nations.

There is also the possibility that a mercenary group might work for rebel groups in civil wars. According to a recent news report, an attack on Philippine soldiers confirmed intelligence reports that foreign mercenaries were being recruited by the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front to train their own men.(171)

Whether or not the modern mercenary trade will find an internationally sanctioned role in the international system which is above reproach remains to be seen. The likelihood of corporate mercenaries becoming an accepted means of conflict resolution between states appears slim at present, yet uncertainty surrounding the impact of regulation alood of corporate mercenaries becoming an accepted means of conflict resolution between states appears slim at present, yet uncertainty surrounding the impact of regulation allows room for error. Moreover, the possibility of their being used in conflicts within states will likely increase. Recently, Rakesh Saxena, a fugitive Thai banker accused of embezzling $88 million who is currently living in Canada while awaiting extradition proceedings, was reported to be negotiating with Sandline about organizing a counter-coup in Sierra Leone to overthrow the military officers who organized the coup earlier this year. Saxena is reported to have bauxite and diamond interests in Sierra Leone. Saxena has already sent $70,000 to Tim Spicer of Sandline to review military operations in that country.(172)

Clearly, in the post-Cold War era an old military tradition is reemerging. Mercenaries are back and they are clearly not going away. Given that many of them have had extensive prior regular military service, they are in fact both more professional and deadlier than their historical counterparts. It is also clear that not all mercenary groups are alike. MPRI personnel, for example, are not trigger-pullers. They do not carry guns or engage in combat. They are distinctly different from a group like Executive Outcomes. Yet the skills they teach can ultimately prove quite deadly. MPRI also goes to great lengths to work closely with the U.S. government and takes great pains not to take any contract that the U.S. government does not like. On the other hand, given the close coordination between the two, the possible implication is that "contracting out" will remove military operations from congressional and public scrutiny. It would provide U.S. administrations with "plausible deniability" of overseas interventions and allow the downsizing of military forces without losing the ability to influence other countries. Government officials would not have to disclose information regarding contracted operations on the grounds that it is "proprietary information." All that would be needed is a State Department license.(173) While this clearly is not the case with MPRI in Bosnia, which has received substantial publicity, it cannot be ignored as a possibility.

Given the historical longevity of mercenaries, it seems foolish to try to prohibit them. A more sensible view is that mercenaries are like other weapons of war in that they may be used during armed conflict and, as such, deserve regulation. As debates continue on exactly what measures should be taken, the fact that corporate mercenary firms are a growing phenomenon should be compelling enough to put observers on the alert.

From an arms control perspective, mercenary firms are salient insofar as they may enable a state to augment its military capabilities in a short period of time, either by hiring combatants or training a state's military forces and transforming them into a far more effective combat force. While mercenary groups generally are not a threat to regular military forces, they can be a significant factor in many developing countries given that coups have often been effected with just a few scores or hundreds of combatants. The fact that many firms, and the states which employ them, are not forthcoming about what services they provide or to whom the services have been provided, raise legitimate concerns in neighboring states about what a mercenary group may be doing.

In order to bring transparency to mercenary activities, and thus reassure states that the presence of a mercenary firm is not a threat to their security, an international register for such firms should be established. The model is the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, which compiles declarations by both importers and exporters of conventional arms, thus permitting cross-checking. A similar register could be created for private military advisory firms which would contain declarations by the importers--the states or groups employing such firms--and the exporters--the firms themselves. That way, if a firm withheld data on the grounds that it was proprietary, it could be released by the employer.

Lastly, in order to allay fears about human rights violations, and as a condition for operating outside the borders of the state in which they are headquartered, mercenary firms should be required to abide by the relevant human rights instruments, i.e., Geneva Protocols, rules of war, and customary international humanitarian law. Documented violations would be cause for penalties such as fines and suspension. If an employee of a firm was found guilty of committing crimes against humanity or war crimes, which have long been defined by international treaty, he could be tried before a court that would have the power to try individuals. Such a permanent, international court is likely to be established in the next few years.(174) This would be especially important if such firms were employed by regional groups, say the OAU or OAS, or by the United Nations itself for a future peacemaking operation.


1. William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, I, 273, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th Edition, Boston, MA:, Little, Brown & Co. 1992, p. 188.

2. Steven Metz, Strategic Horizons: The Military Implications of Alternative Futures, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 7, 1997, p. 49.

3. One recent account of the sort of classic mercenary adventurer is Lester D. Langley and Thomas D. Schoonover, The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, 1880-1930, University Press of Kentucky, 1995.

4. See advertisement by Military Professionals Resources Inc. (MPRI) in the September 1997 issue of Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, p. 17.

5. Mark Galeotti, "Boom time for the Russian `protectors,'" Jane's Intelligence Review, August 1997, p. 339.

6. See The Right of Peoples To Self-Determination And Its Application To People Under Colonial Or Alien Domination Or Foreign Occupation, Economic and Social Council, United Nations, E/CN.4/1995/29, 21 December 1994.

7. In September 1995 a 22 year-old Swedish mercenary was sentenced to thirteen years in prison for war crimes in Bosnia. He had served with the French Foreign Legion before joining the Bosnian Croat troops in 1993. "Bosnia jails Swede for war crimes," Agence France Presse, Sept. 9, 1995 (wire service).

8. For more on this point see Gerry S. Thomas, Mercenary Troops in Modern Africa, Westview Press, 1984.

9. O.A.U. doc. CM/433/Rev.L., Annex 1 (1972).

10. Organization of African Unity Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa, O.A.U. Doc. CM/817 (XXIX) Annex II Rev. 3 (1977).

11. Report on the Question of the Use of Mercenaries as a Means of Impeding the Exercise of the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination, U.N. ESCOR, 44th Sess., U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1988/14 (1988), pp. 28-29.

12. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) of 8 June 1977.

13. Just a few titles on modern and historical mercenaries include: Samantha Weinberg, Last of the Pirates: The Search for Bob Denard, Pantheon Books, 1995; Paul Balor, Manual of the Mercenary Soldier: A Guide to Mercenary War, Money and Adventure, Paladin Press, 1988; Janice E. Thompson, Mercenaries,d, Pantheon Books, 1995; Paul Balor, Manual of the Mercenary Soldier: A Guide to Mercenary War, Money and Adventure, Paladin Press, 1988; Janice E. Thompson, Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe, Princeton University Press, 1994; Gilbert John Millar, Tudor Mercenaries and Auxiliaries, 1485-1547, University Press of Virginia, 1980; Shelford Bidwell, Swords for Hire: European Mercenaries in Eighteenth-Century India, Transatlantic Arts, 1972; R.A. Stradling, The Spanish Monarchy and Irish Mercenaries: The Wild Geese in Spain 1618-68, Irish Academic Press, 1994; H.W. Koch, The Rise of Modern Warfare: From the Age of Mercenaries Through Napoleon, Crown Pub., 1983; Malin Brown, Merc: American Soldiers of Fortune, MacMillan Publishing Co., 1980; Wilfred G. Burchett, The Whores of War: Mercenaries Today, Viking Press, 1977; Mike Hoare, The Seychelles affair, Bantam Press; Mike Cononel Hoare, The Road to Kalamata: A Congo Mercenary's Personal Memoir, Lexington Books, 1989; Anthony Mockler, The New Mercenaries/the History of the Hired Soldier from the Congo to the Seychelles, Paragon House, 1987; Peter Tickler, The Modern Mercenary: Dog of War or Soldier of Honour?, HarperCollins, 1988; Gerry Thomas, Mercenary Troops in Modern Africa, Westview Press, 1984; Keith Cory-Jones, War Dogs: British Mercenaries in Bosnia Tell Their Own Story," Century, 1996; and Frederick Forsyth, The Dogs of War, Bantam Books, April 1990.

14. Sam Roggeveen, "The Case for the Mercenary Army," Australian Defence Force Journal, No. 126, Sep./Oct. 1997, p. 50.

15. Oxford Illustrated History of Modern War, edited by Charles Townshend. NY: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 61.

16. Ibid. "A further problem was the dependence of the majority of states upon mercenaries hired from `military enterprisers', such as Albert von Wallenstein, who provided the bulk of the imperial armies, or Peter Ernst, Graf von Mansfeld, a recruiter for the Protestant cause. War had grown into an international industry with its own momentum, rationale, and institutions. Governments needed to regain control." p. 21.

17. For more on the Hessian role in the American Revolution see Rodneu Atwood, The Hessians: Mercenaries from Hessen-Kassel in the American Revolution, Cambridge University Press, 1980.

18. Robert M. Blackburn, Mercenaries and Lyndon Johnson's `More Flags': The Hiring of Korean, Filipino and Thai Soldiers in the Vietnam War, McFarland & Co., 1994; and

19. John Carver Edwards, Airmen Without Portfolio: U.S. Mercenaries in Civil War Spain, Praeger Publishers, 1997.

20. Marcus Mabry, "Soldiers of misfortune," Newsweek, February 24, 1997, Vol. 129, No. 8, p. 40(2).

21. David Bennett, "Mexican drug lords said to recruit ex-U.S. soldiers," Reuter, August 20, 1997, InfoBeat,

22. Personal interview in Washington, DC with Lucy Mathiak, Administrative Program Manager in the Department of International Studies and Programs at University of Wisconsin - Madison, June 19, 1997.

23. William Reno, "Privatizing War in Sierra Leone," Current History, May 1997, p. 230. [Hereafter referred to as Reno, "Privatizing War."]

24. Based on phone conversation with Prof. Herbert Howe of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, October 24, 1997.

25. World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1995, U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, 1996, pp. 5, 53.

26. Economic and Social Council, Report by Mr. Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, Special Rapporteur, "The Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and its Application to Peoples Under Colonial or Alien Domination or Foreign Occupation," E/CN.4/1997/24, February 20, 1997. [Hereafter referred to as Bernales.]; and Michela Wrong, "Fear Drives Africa's boom business: Security Companies Trade on Lawlessness and Crime," The Financial Times, May 8, 1996, p. 6.

27. For information on the work of Defence Systems Limited in Colombia see the transcript of "BP's Secret Soldiers," an episode in the U.K. World in Action series,'s_Secret_Soldiers.txt.

28. Stan Correy, "Diamond Mercenaries of Africa," ABC Radio National - Background Briefing Transcript, August 4, 1996. p.5. See also Keith B. Richburg, "Long Fabled as Military Fighters, Gurkhas Turn to Private Security," The Houston Chronicle, September 3, 1995, p. 46; and Jim Hooper, "Sierra Leone: The War Continues," Jane's Intelligence Review, p. 41. For detail on Defence Systems Limited (DSL) see Michael Sean Gillard and Melissa Jones, "BP's secret soldiers," Weekly Mail & Guardian, July 4, 1997, .

29. William D. Hartung, "Mercenaries Inc.: how a U.S. company props up the House of Saud," The Progressive, April 1996, Vol. 60, No. 4, p. 26 (3).

30. Al J. Venter, "Ex-US army vets floor to guard Angola oilfields," Electronic Mail&Guardian, October 10, 1997, This article also says that the Angolan government had awarded contracts to MPRI, including one to train two airborne brigades. This, however was firmly denied by MPRI's Vice President, Operations, Lt. Gen. Soyster (USA-Ret.) who said that MPRI had no contracts in Angola. Phone conversation October 21, 1997.

31. Bernales. Executive Outcomes (EO) Ltd (Co. Number 02851181) was incorporated in the United Kingdom on September 7, 1993. Its registered office address was 72 Alma Road, Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire S02 1BR. On February 19, 1994 the address changed to 4 High St, Alton, Hampshire GU34 IBU. Address information provided via email message by Peter Abel, Omega Foundation, Manchester, UK, on September 3, 1997.

32. EO has been represented at defense exhibitions by other firms. For example, at the COPEX 1994 defense exhibition in the United Kingdom EO was represented by the then-named Dean La-Vey Security Consultants (now La-Vey Security International). La-Vey formerly shared EO's old registered office at 72 Alma Road (See endnote 18). Information provided via email message by Peter Abel, Omega Foundation, Manchester, UK, on September 3, 1997.

33. Elizabeth Rubin, "An Army of One's Own: In Africa, Nations Hire a Corporation to Wage War," Harper's, January 29, 1997, p. B24.

34. Peta Thornycroft, "Mobutu couldn't afford SA mercenaries," Weekly Mail & Guardian, July 18, 1997,

35. Ibid., p.44.

36. Peter Alexander, "South Africa's Veterans Recruit Army of Outlaws," The Electronic Telegraph, April, 6, 1997. The Electronic Telegraph, April, 6, 1997.

37. Thornycroft, op. cit. See also "New Chief for mercenary organisation," Jane's Defence Weekly, 13 August 1997, p. 16.

38. Yves Goulet, "Executive Outcomes: Mixing business with bullets," Jane's Intelligence Review, September 1997, p. 426.

39. For more information on the 32 Battalion see

40. Hugh Dellios, "Today's Mercenaries: Soldiers of Fortune 500," Chicago Tribune, January 29, 1997, p. A26.

41. Laurence Mazure, "Lucrative Reconversion Des Mercenaires Sud-Africains," Le Monde Diplomatique (October 1996), p. 22. Mazure's article actually says Petrangol, not Sonangol. But Goulet says the company sponsors were Heritage Oil & Gas, an EO holding, and Sonangol, Angola's state-owned company. Goulet, p. 427. Also E.O. itself, in a press release, lists SONANGOL. See release at

42. Khareen Pech, "South Africa Tries to Ban Mercenaries," Jane's Intelligence Review & Jane's Sentinel Pointer, February 1997, p. 13.

43. Goulet, p. 427.

44. Human Rights Watch Arms Project/Human Rights Watch Africa, Angola: Between War and Peace -- Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses since the Lusaka Protocol, Feb. 1996.

45. "The New Mercenaries of Africa," New York Times, February 2, 1997, p. 14.

46. Email from Ricko Visser of EO, received October 27, 1997.

47. Dellios, p. A27. See also HRW Angola Report, op. cit., p. 17.

48. Al J. Venter, "Mercenaries Fuel Next Round In Angolan Civil War," Jane's International Defence Review, March 1996,

49. SABC TV (Johannesburg), in Afrikaans, 1800 GMT, November 17, 1995. Quoted in HRW Angola Report, op. cit., p. 17.

50. Danielle Gordon, "No peace for South Africa's wand'ring warriors," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June 1996, p. 5.

51. Goulet, p. 428.

52. For more detail see Philip Winslow, "The business of war: upmarket mercenaries to help regimes in need." Maclean's, November 6, 1995, V. 108. No. 45, p. 36.

53. Goulet, p. 428.

54. Reno, "Privatizing War," p. 229.

55. October 27, 1997 email message from Ricko Visser of EO.

56. Quoted in Al J. Venter, "Sierra Leone's Mercenary War: Battle for the Diamond Fields," Jane's International Defense Review, 28, November 1995, pp. 65-68.

57. Rubin, op. cit., p. B17.

58. Michael Ashworth, "Africa's army for hire," World Press Review, Dec. 1996, Vol. 43, No. 12, p. 36(2).

59. Kevin Whitelaw, "Have gun, will prop up regime: are military `consultants" a force for peace or mercenaries gunning for Africa's diamonds," U.S. News & World Report, January 20, 1997, Vol. 122, No. 2, p. 46(3).

60. Venter, op. cit., p. 65.

61. Peter Arnett, "Diamond fever turns Sierra Leone into an African Wild West," CNN Interactive World News, April 24, 1997,

62. "3 Mercenaries Captured," 13 July 1996,

63. See note 75 on relationship between EO and Lifeguard.

64. Goulet, p. 429.

65. Al J. Venter, "Gunships For Hire: An Air Force of Mercenaries has Turned the Tide of Battle Against Insurgent Rebels in Angola and West Africa," Flight International, August 21-27, 1996. p. 32.

66. Ibid., p. A13.

67. "Conversion Survey 1997: Global Disarmament and Disposal of Surplus Weapons," Bonn International Center for Conversion, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 113.

68. Venter, "Gunships for Hire," op. cit., p. A13.

69. Goulet, p. 427.

70. Goulet, p. 426.

71. Ibid.

72. Howe, op. cit. p. 38.

73. Some companies affiliated with EO include Heritage Oil and Gas, GJW Government Relations, Capricorn Air and Ibis Airline, (from Bernales).

74. Dr. Graham H. Turbiville Jr., and Major Mark Mills, "South African Mercenary Firm Extends Influence in Africa," Special Warfare, August 1996, p. 52.

75. Kevin Whitelaw, "Mercenaries, Rebels and Mineral Wealth in Africa," US News, January 20, 1997. EO says it has no business links with Lifeguard, August 5, 1997 press release,

76. Ibid.

77. Bernales.

78. Ibid., p. 1.

79. Rubin, op. cit., p. B16.

80. Information re BE, BM, and HO&G, comes from EO press release,

81. Ibid. EO notes that the owners of Branch Energy are significant shareholders of Diamond Works but do not hold the majority of the shares.

82. "The New Mercenaries of Africa," op. cit., p. 14. Note: It is not clear whether this refers to contacts just with EO, or with SRC. Also, EO notes it does not keep a log of all the people it talks to. If they talk with a foreign government official it does not necessarily mean they are talking with that government. October 27, 1997 Email from Ricko Visser of EO.

83. Turbiville, op. cit., p. 52.

84. International Security Digest [UK], Vol. 4, No. 4, June 1997, p. 4.

85. Goulet, p. 429.

86. These figures are taken from a phone conversation with Prof. Howe, October 24, 1997. Originally he had them as $6000 and $13,000 respectively. Howe, p. 39. EO confirms these figures but notes that the $2500 a month is for "Contract military instructors and not soldiers." October 27, 1997 email from Ricko Visser of EO. It is unclear whether there is a separate category of soldiers who are paid at a different rate.

87. Ibid.

88. Edward O'Laughlin, "SA Mercenaries Conquer Africa," Weekly Mail & Guardian, August 4, 1995,

89. This is denied by EO which says it "did not reap any financial benefits from diamond mining concessions." October 27, 1997 email received from Ricko Visser of EO.

90. "Africa's Soldiers of Fortun not reap any financial benefits from diamond mining concessions." October 27, 1997 email received from Ricko Visser of EO.

90. "Africa's Soldiers of Fortune Discover that Peace Can Pay," The Electronic Telegraph, February, 26, 1996,

91. "Reining in the Dogs of War,"

92. Christopher Munnion, "South Africa Blocks Export of Mercenaries," The Electronic Telegraph, July 16, 1997, Note: The figures in this sentence do not really fit in with the previous sentence.

93. Email from Ricko Visser of EO, September 5, 1997.

94. Company literature faxed by Bernie McCabe, U.S. representative of Sandline,. to CDI, July 25, 1997.

95. Richard Savill, "Mercenary Boss 'Asked for Share in Giant Mine'" The Electronic Telegraph, April 4, 1997, Goulet writes that EO's European office is at the same address as Sandline. Goulet, p. 427. But EO states it "was never registered by Plaza 107 or any person associated with the company. There is an EO registered in the UK and a simple search at Companies House would have confirmed that this company is entirely unrelated to Plaza 107 or any of its clients."

96. "Mercenary Says PNG Army Chief Knew of Deal," Reuter

97. Company literature faxed by Bernie McCabe, U.S. representative of Sandline, to CDI, July 25, 1997.

98. Ibid.

99. Ibid.

100. Agreement for the Provision of Military Assistance Dated this 31 Day of January 1997 between the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and Sandline International. [Hereafter referred to as Sandline Contract.] .

101. Michael Smith, "Big Business for Officers of Fortune," International News, March 27, 1997,

102. The PNG government had previously approached The Corps Commissionaires, a British security company, in October 1996 for assistance in military training (from "Elite Anti-Terrorism Squad Planned in PNG for Months," Sydney Morning Herald, February, 26, 1997).

103. Sandline Contract.

104. Ibid.

105. Peter Lewis Young, "Bougainville Conflict Enters its Ninth Year," Jane's Intelligence Review, June 1997, p. 283.

106. "We're Ready to Fulfill Obligations, Says Sandline," The National, June 3, 1997.

107. Lucy Palmer, "Singirok Admits Taking Arms Cash," Sydney Morning Herald, July 14, 1997, Documents obtained by a British newspaper reveal that JSF set up a secret account for Singirok at a branch of Lloyd's Bank at Waterloo Place in the West End of London in April of last year. The account was opened with a £1,000 bank giro transfer on April 24, 1996. Three further payments of £10,000 each were made into the secret account on July 5, December 12, and February 4, 1997. David Leppard and Michael Ashworth, "Arms firm made secret payments," The Sunday Times, August 3, 1997.

108. Craig Skehan, "I Was Promised Riches, Singirok Says," Sydney Morning Herald, April 9, 1997.

109. Hooper, op. cit.

110. Young, op. cit., p. 285.

111. To obtain a transcript of the Sandline inquiry entitled Commission of Inquiry into the Engagement of Sandline International, contact: Transcript of Proceedings National Judicial Staff Services, Supreme Court, P.O. Box 7018, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea. Tel: (675) 245-700. Fax: (675) 257-732.

112. "Mercenaries: Hong Kong Giant Snared in Sandline Scandal," Asia-Pacific Network (PNG) April 20, 1997.

113. Paul Ruffini and Neville Togarewa, "`Mystery man' in Sandline sacked," Post-Courier (PNG), May 15, 1997,

114. IBCOL is a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems. Their company headquarters address: Hans Pinsel Str 7, D 855400 Haar, Germany. Fax: (49) 89463738. E-mail: (from Sandline Contract).

115. "Mercenaries: The World of IBCOL," Asia-Pacific Network, May 31, 1997.

116. Savill, op. cit.

117. Correy, "Robert Friedland," p.1. See also Roger Moody, "The Mercenary Miner: Robert Friedland Goes to Asia," Multinational Monitor, June 1997, pp. 25-28.

118. Ibid., p. 1.

119. Young, op. cit., p. 284.

120. "Mercenary Says PNG Army Chief Knew of Deal" Reuter,

121. MPRI's Website:

122. The Board members are Lt. Gen. Richard D. Lawrence, (USA (ret.); Gen. Joseph J. Went, USMC (ret.); Gen. Carl E. Vuono, USA (ret.); Maj. Gen. Vernon B. Lewis, USA (ret.); Lt. Gen. Richard G. Trefy, USA (ret.); Gen. Carl W. Stiner, USA (ret.); Gen. John L. Piotrowski, USAF (ret.); Maj. Gen. Ralph Hallada, USA (ret.); Adm. Wesley L. McDonald, USN (ret); Gen. John W. Foss, USA (ret.); Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, USA (ret.), Gen. Jack N. Merritt, USA (ret.), Mr. William R. Roach, and Col. Robert D. Wood, USA (ret.).

123. The two other members of MPRI's Executive Committee are Mr. William R. Roach and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Richard G. Trefry.

124. Ibid.

125. Roger Cohen, "U.S. Cooling Ties to Croatia After Winking at its Buildup," New York Times, October 18, 1995, p. 1.

126. "Capabilities Statement Military Professional Resources, Inc." 2d Qtr., 1995., p. 5.

127. Cohen, op. cit.

128. BDMI owns Vinell Corporation, a firm which has a long-held contract to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard,en, op. cit.

128. BDMI owns Vinell Corporation, a firm which has a long-held contract to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard, (from Ken Silverstein "Privatizing War: How affairs of state are outsourced to corporations beyond public control," The Nation. July 28, 1997,

129. "Update on Bosnia Train and Equip Program Shows Progress," Defense Week, January 21, 1997, p.8. According to Lt. Gen. Soyster (USA-Ret.), Vice President, Operations of MPRI, a U.S. State Dept. spokesman gave the figure as $40 million. Phone conversation, October 24, 1997.

130. Office of Military Stabilization in the Balkans, "Training and Equipping the Bosnian Federation Army," Train & Equip Fact Sheet #002-96, August 21, 1996. According to Gen. Soyster when the program was first getting underway some hoped to raise $400 million for it, but that amount has not been collected.

131. Colin Woodard, "US Arms Weaker Side for Bosnia After NATO," Christian Science Monitor, September 15, 1997, p. 6.

132. According to Gen. Soyster, U.S. military drawdown equipment totalled $98 million and other equipment donated by other countries totaled over $100 million at this point.

133. Ibid.

134. Bradley Graham, "Ex-GIs Work to Give Bosnian Force a Fighting Chance," The Washington Post, January 29, 1997, p. A16.

135. The Dayton Peace Accords,

136. Office of Military Stabilization in the Balkans, "US Military Equipment Provided to Bosnia," Train & Equip Fact Sheet #001-96, August 21, 1996; and Arbuckle, op. cit. p. 58.

137. "MPRI Corporate Experience," 2d Qtr., 1995, pp. 11-12.

138. Specifically, the following U.S. Army departments have hired MPRI: Materiel Command; Training and Doctrine Command; Logistics Integration Agency; Research Institute; Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command; Combined Arms Support Command; Combined Arms Command Center; Air Defense Artillery Center; Armor Center; Aviation Center; Field Artillery Center; Infantry Center; Laboratory Command; Operational Test and Evaluation Command; and Reserve Command. Ibid.

139. MPRI's Website.

140. See Catherine Bond, "Zairian recounts torture by Serb mercenaries," CNN, March 19, 1997, <"a href="">

141. "Colombian mercenary running a brisk business," (Reuters), SunSpot, October 6, 1997,

142. Sandline Contract.

143. Silverstein, p. 17.

144. Ibid., p. 17.

145. William Eagle, "Africa/Mercenaries," Voice of America, July 9, 1997. gopher://

146. Phone Interview with Professor Herb Howe in the African Studies Department, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, June, 20, 1997.

147. World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1996, U.S. Arms Control And Disarmament Agency, July 1997, p. 58.

148. William Reno, Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 21-22.

149. These questions are based on the written summary statement of the Privatization of Security in Sub-Saharan Africa conference organized by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), held June 24, 1997, in Crystal City, VA. Statement provided by conference coordinator, Mr. William Thom, Defense Intelligence Officer for Africa, DIA.

150. Reno, "Privatizing War," p. 227.

151. President Mobutu Sese Seko hired a French mercenary force known as the White Legion and Bosnian Serb mercenaries totaling 280 to train Zairean troops and aid in direct combat against Tutsi rebels. (From Sean Boyne, "The White Legion: Mercenaries in Zaire" Jane's Intelligence Review, June 1997, pp. 278-281). See also Marcus Mabry, "Soldiers of Misfortune: White mercenaries fight long odds for a dictator," Newsweek, February 24, 1997, p. 40.

152. See "Want peacekeepers with spine? Hire the world's fiercest mercenaries," U.S. News & World Report, December 30, 1996, Vol. 121, No. 26, p. 42(2); and Edward N. Luttwak, "Where are the Great Powers? At Home with the Kids," Foreign Affairs, July/August 1994, Vol. 73, No. 4, pp. 23-28.

153. Silverstein, op. cit., p. 14.

154. Ibid.

155. Carl Bildt, "Bosnia Build-Down," Defense News, August 18-24, 1997 [letter to the editor], p. 14.

156. Mark Thompson, "Generals for hire: confronted with its trickiest task in Bosnia, the U.S. has made plans to pay someone else to do it," Time, Jan. 15, 1996, starts p. 34.

157. William Lewis, "Peace Operations," Institute for National Strategic Studies, June 23, 1997.

158. Anton Ferreira, "We make Africa safe for investors, pro soldiers say," (Reuter), Infoseek, October 16, 1997, See also Anton Ferreira, "Mercenaries call S. African penalties too harsh," (Reuter), Infoseek, Septtember 12, 1997, http://www.

159. Helmoed-Römer Heitman, "South Africa seeks to control mercenaries," Jane's Defence Weekly, July 23 1997, p. 17.

160. Eagle, op. cit.

161. Ibid.

162. Mazure, op. cit., p. 22.

163. Fighting Retreat: Military Political Power And Other Barriers To Africa's Democratic Transition (Prepared for Non-Governmental Organizations, Scholars, Media, and Government Officials in Africa and the United States), July 1997, Demilitarization for Democracy (DFD), Washington, D.C.

164. Jennifer Gould, "Peacekeeping Atrocities: UN Soldiers Accused of Torture, Murder, Sexual Exploitation of Children," The Village Voice Worldwide, June 24, 1997; and rispian Balmer, "Italy says its soldiers tortured Somalis," August 8, 1997, Reuter,

165. See Michael C. López, "The U.S. Army School of the Americas: Teaching Terror," Colombia Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 1, Winter 1996; Darrin Wood, "Mexico Practices What School of the Americas Teaches," Covert Action Quarterly, Winter 1996-7; School of the Americas: U.S. Military Training for Latin American Countries, U.S. General Ac the Americas Teaches," Covert Action Quarterly, Winter 1996-7; School of the Americas: U.S. Military Training for Latin American Countries, U.S. General Accounting Office, August 1996, NSIAD-96-178; and Mary A. Fischer, "Teaching Torture," GQ, June 1997, pp. 182-189, 237-240.

166. Rogeveen, pp. 50-51.

167. Bernales, Recommendations.

168. The 11 signatories who became party to the convention prior to Australia are: Angola, Belarus, Congo, Germany, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Uruguay, Yugoslavia and Zaire. States having expressed willingness to sign the Convention include: Barbados, Cameroon, Cyprus, Georgia, Italy, Maldives, Seychelles, Suriname, Togo, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. (from Bernales).

169. "Australia to Sign UN Anti-Mercenary Convention," Reuter, July 14, 1997.

170. For a history on current U.S. definition of and policy toward "rogue states," see Michael Klare, Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws: America's Search For A New Foreign Policy, NY: Hill & Wang, 1995.

171. (Reuters) "Manila hunts foreign terrorists after carnage," Infobeat,

172. David Baines, "Fugitive banker financing African counter-coup: Publicity is ruining the possibility ty is ruining the possibility of mercenary action in Sierra Leone, Rakesh Saxena says," Vancouver Sun, August 2 1997,

173. This section draws on the article "America Loses Military In Battle of Intrigue: Mercenaries - The New wave,"

174. Betsy Pisik, "World community closer to court for individuals: Permanent tribunal's details unsettled," Washington Times, August 20, 1997, p. 1.