Private military contractors are reaping billions of dollars in profitable rewards from the U.S. government’s global network of clandestine counter-terrorism and other overseas operations, according to a new report that examines the high-levels of integration between for-profit corporations and the Pentagon’s global military and surveillance apparatus.
The new report—titled —written by researcher Crofton Black and commissioned by the U.K.-based Remote Control Project, shows that “corporations are integrated into some of the most sensitive aspects” of operations conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Command (or USSOCOM). Those activities, according to the report include: flying drones and overseeing target acquisition, facilitating communications between forward operating locations and central command hubs, interrogating prisoners, translating captured material, and managing the flow of information between regional populations and the US military.
“[USSOCOM] is outsourcing many of its most sensitive information activities, including interrogation, drone and psychological operations,” explained Black in a statement. “Remote warfare is increasingly being shaped by the private sector.”
And Caroline Donnellan, manager of the Remote Control project, said, “This report is distinctive in that it mines data from the generally classified world of US special operations. It reveals the extent to which remote control activity is expanding in all its facets, with corporations becoming more and more integrated into very sensitive elements of warfare. The report’s findings are of concern given the challenges remote warfare poses for effective investigation, transparency, accountability and oversight. This highlights the difficulties in assessing the impact and consequences of remote control activity.”
Reviewing its contents for The Intercept on Monday, journalist Ryan Gallagher observed how the unprecedented research documents troubling ways in which these private corporations have engaged in overseas operations. Describing it as a “corporate bonanza” for these contractor, Gallagher reports:
Read the executive summary of the report here. Read the full report here.
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