Thursday, July 26, 2012

US-Military Use of Privateers Circumvents Geneva Convention and sets Precedence for Institutionalized Neo-Fascism.

Christof Lehman

Interview with retired Lt. General of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service outlines serious problems with respect to International Law and Human Rights.In a recent interview for Voice of Russia, the retired Lt. General of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Gennady Yevstafiew, warns about the increasing use of outsourcing by US-Military and Intelligence Services. Yestafiew is drawing attention to a US-institutionalization of the systematic circumvention of the Geneva Convention, Military Codes of Conduct, Military Law as well as Human Rights.

Yevstafiew warns that the USA is increasingly outsourcing, and hiring local people for the most “dirty” operations and that the boundaries between violations of laws by US military and intelligence services vs. violations of national criminal laws become increasingly diffuse.

The personnel of these private military companies often consists of militarily trained or retired military personnel from both the USA and other countries. Thus, Yevstafiew exemplifies, the USA is unofficially participating with military personnel in maintaining the military supply lines of the Northern Distribution Network through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

The protection of the supply lines is outsourced to private military companies, and these private military companies; military companies which are playing an ever-increasing role in US military aggressions throughout the world.

The fact that these privateers are not on official military payrolls and that casualties among these troops are not counted in official military casualty figures is also playing a significant role in domestic US politics, and that even though a large number of the employees of these private military companies and casualties among them are citizens of the USA.

Thus, US Administrations are able to mask actual casualty figures in conflicts throughout the world. As example, Yevstafiew states, that the US has lost about 4000 troops in Afghanistan over the last ten years, while about 1000 privateers lost their lives in Afghanistan over the same period.

With respect to violations of the Geneva Convention, military law and the military code of conduct, Yevstafiew is drawing attention to the serious human rights violations at Abu Ghraib, Iraq. Yevstafiew reiterates that many of the most serious excesses of violence were committed by private paramilitary forces and not only by military personnel. In fact Yevstafiew states that employees of private paramilitary companies committ the most and the most serious violations of human rights.

Yevstafiew is emphasizing that many of these violations of human rights also were gross violations of the victims and occupied nations national religion and character or culture.

The former Lt. General of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service also warns that it is not only the US military that is outsourcing in order to circumvent international law, stating that various American institutions are using them to do their dirty work for them.

As example, Gennady Yevstafiew recalls the discussions about secret American prisons in European countries, including Eastern European countries, as well as secret US prisons in other parts of the world, especially in Asian and Arab countries. These prisons were kept by paramilitary forces, while those who were officially employed by the CIA only rendered the prisoners to the paramilitaries. Often these paramilitaries, who are doing the CIA´s dirty work, are citizens of the country in which the illegal prison is located. This practice diffuses the boundaries of both national and international law and constitute a signifficant problem with respect to human rights and international law.

Yevstafiew considers this development dangerous because it diffuses the American military and intelligence services responsibility for human rights violations and violations of the rights of Prisoners of War under the Geneva Convention.

While the American military should adhere to military manuals which are based on the principles that are enshrined in the Geneva Convention, which prescribe certain conducts, rights, privileges, and protections, so Yevstafiew, the privateers are not obliged to adhere to any of these norms. This enables the US Administrations and certain US representatives to carry out unprecedentedly dirty work with all kinds of violations of human rights.

Somehow, so Yevstafiew, this problem is not being sufficiently discussed, but the time would come when Americans would be forced to explain their use of private military forces as a means of circumventing international law.

Let us wait for the time when the international community will touch on this very sensitive issue” the former Lt. General of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service said.

Yevstafiew also drew attention to the fact that the use of private military institutions has become an institutionalized part of US foreign policy. As example, he mentions that it has been announced that some private paramilitary institutions are going to participate in the training of Afghan and Iraqi military detachments, which allows President Obama to claim that he is withdrawing US troops.

While Obama is somewhat bound by his promises to withdraw troops from Afghanistan he can do so to a certain degree without anybody speaking about the fact that these troops will be substituted by private military companies. In particular these private troops are being used for the protection of very sensitive buildings, installations, and so on.

While, for example, a first glance may reveal that there are 10.000 Americans in Kabul, so Yevstafiew, a closer look reveals that there are thousands more in Kabul who are involved in, as it was recently announced, making Afghanistan as strategic ally.

While Gennady Yestafiew is diplomatic enough only to call some of the human rights abuses that are systematically being outsourced for unprecedentedly dirty work by the US military and intelligence services, the development is in fact indicative of what one could describe as the systematic implementation of institutionalized fascism in US politics, military and intelligence services.

The fusion of private corporations with institutions of government or corporatism are fascism in deed.

Taking the ongoing, illegal, US and NATO led subversion attempt in Syria into account, the fact that the USA and other NATO members overtly are providing political and material support to organizations which they themselves designate as terrorist organizations; taking into account that official US training circulars in unconventional warfare state that the USA in the foreseeable future mainly will wage unconventional wars; and taking the fact into account that NATO is aggressively waging unconventional wars under the guise of a fabled ”the responsibility to protect”, it would be high time to make this “very sensitive issue”, as Yestafiew describes it, an issue that will receive the appropriate coverage within the global political discourse.

Christof Lehmann
1)US army share responsibility with mercenaries.
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