Defence cuts mean British military commanders will have to rely on private security firms to carry out future operations, a retired general has said.
Major General Graham Binns said the Ministry of Defence appears more “reticent” about using armed contractors to support missions than other countries and other Whitehall departments.
He called on the Government to introduce a system for selecting and vetting a number of approved private security companies, which would be required to train regularly with troops.
Maj Gen Binns, who commanded coalition forces in southern Iraq from mid-2007 to early 2008, is chief executive of British private security company Aegis Defence Services.
Writing in a book of essays published by the Army about how it should adapt for the future, he suggested that private security contractors (PSCs) would become an integral part of the forces deployed on operations.
“Given the current economic climate and future force structures, it is likely that commanders of future military operations of whatever type will encounter PSCs,” he said.
“Given the current size and structure of UK forces, it is inevitable that any future expeditionary deployment will require contractor support in many areas. PSCs may well come to feature as part of the force structure as there are many combat-support functions that can be fulfilled by PSCs, thus releasing troops for other duties.”
The former general’s comments come as the MoD is implementing a programme which could see 11,000 redundancies across the Royal Navy, Army and RAF by April 2015 in an effort to tackle the deficit and bring the defence budget under control.
Maj Gen Binns said British security firms had provided services for the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan ranging from gathering local intelligence to guarding senior officers.
But the retired general also warned that private security firms not working directly with the military could be “more problematic”, noting that they could include “rogue” companies hiding behind the veil of a legitimate contractor or “thinly disguised local militias”.
- Robot Wars: US Empire and Geopolitics in the Robotic Age
- Remote: a Documentary about Drones and Humans
- Policing the Future City: Robotic Being-in-the-World
- Intervention Symposium: “Algorithmic Governance”; organised by Jeremy Crampton and Andrea Miller
- How intelligent drones are changing warfare
- Opinion: robots and AI could soon have feelings….
- Predator Empire – Reviews
- The Great War of Enclosure: Securing the Skies (2017)
- Predator Empire – 30% discount at UMP
- Empire in an Age of Robots and Drones
- My upcoming book – Predator Empire
- The Urbanization of Drone Warfare: Policing Surplus Populations in the Dronepolis
- Book Reviews
- Camp Lemonnier
- Chalmers Johnson
- Civilian drones and robotics
- Customs and Border Patrol
- Documentaries and media
- Drone Technology
- Forensic Architecture
- Geopolitics and International Relations
- Guantanamo Bay
- Hannah Arendt
- History of Drones
- Human Geography
- Human Rights
- Jeremy Scahill
- Law and Lawfare
- Martin Heidegger
- Middle East
- Military Industrial Complex
- Nick Turse
- Ocean Geopolitics
- Opinions and Commentary
- Outer Space
- Secrecy and Surveillance
- Special Forces
- Statistics and Graphics
- Terrorism and Counterterrorism
- White House Politics