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Fast and Furious Afghanistan: More Illegal Weapons in The Hands of The Enemy?

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posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


I understand that, what I have been alluding to though is, if afghan troops carry RPGs and they work with ISAF and these guys do provide convoy security for compass which is the case in some instances, is it not unreasonable to think that someone like mr Timmons would see rpgs in vehicles? It is well known that there is theft of weapons and ammo by greedy individuals but to be as significant as say the huge arms market in pakistan where taliban troops openly walk the streets in a weapons bizarre if you follow what I mean there? I am just trying to see this from a larger picture.

Also I have exceeded my time to edit that statement about the senate committee document but I do acknowledge you posted and linked it in the OP that was my mistake but I still think that alot of significant info is in that document and needs closer examination.
edit on 31-12-2012 by Brotherman because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by Zarniwoop
 


I need to change that too, please understand that it took several long days of researching, checking, and tons of writing to get this put together. I didn't learn that there actually had been an investigation by CID(and you're correct, that's what I've filed the FOIA on) until after I had written the first statement, which was days before writing the second, seemingly conflicting statement. I just forgot to go back and edit it.

In other words, the email from the CID Special Agent that indicates there was an investigation done by CID, dated 19 December, wasn't forwarded to me until the 27th, the day I published this, I had written the opening statements days before.

It's corrected now, thanks for the heads up.

Springer...



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by Brotherman
 



The point out have raised about RPGs being used by the Afghan military blows yet another hole in Mr Timmons story.

I don’t think it matters if these RPGs belonged to Compass ISS or not, as I have said right from the start if you work for Compass ISS escorting trucks in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan that are being attacked by a enemy armed with heaving weapons then it makes total sense that you would want to have similar fire power to give yourself some even odds.

Yes it might be illegal but I would bet if you ask most of the guys working security in these areas they will tell you that it goes on and justify the same way I have done so above.

The OP does imply in the start of the thread that the RPGs used by have come from a PSC yet as you have shown they could just as likely came from the Afghan national army and in any case the OP has since said that there is no proof the back up this claim.



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


Out of interest do you have any idea how long it will take for that report to be released because I think everyone who has an interest in this thread will be looking forward to reading it.



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
 


We are all looking for truth I have vested interests I have buddies that currently serve in these reasons so I am just looking into any and all things I remain a skeptic but I do see the logic you implied and do not refute it as I do not know for certain of anything. I am trying to find definitives for things that can be physically proven. Keep up the good work though remain skeptical



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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Also I would like to submit this into the mix pretaining to the Status of Forces Afghanistan. Maybe we can draw facts about the conducts of PMCs in there to help accept or negate claims about military conduct with PMCs I know that in iraq civilian contractor supply trains were required to have military escorts I dont know if this is the case in Afghanistan but I am going to find out for sure.
www.fas.org...
www.icrc.org...
edit on 31-12-2012 by Brotherman because: (no reason given)


It appears that Compass-ISS is in fact considered to be an Official Private Military Company
en.wikipedia.org...

that being the case they have the right to engage in hostilities;



Are private military companies’ employees combatants for the purposes of international humanitarian law? There are at least three distinct reasons why it is essential to know whether PMC employees are combatants: first, so that opposing forces know whether they are legitimate military objectives and can be lawfully attacked; second, in order to know whether PMC employees may lawfully participate directly in hostilities; and the third reason, related to the second, is in order to know whether PMC employees who do participate in hostilities may be prosecuted for doing so. Combatant status is tied to membership in the armed forces of a party to a conflict 39 or to membership of a militia or volunteer force that belongs to a party to the conflict and fulfils specific criteria. 40 When evaluating the status of PMC employees it is therefore essential to assess their integration (under Article 4A(1) 37 See section below on ‘‘Combatants’’. 38 See, e.g., Juan Carlos Zarate, ‘‘The emergence of a new dog of war: Private international security companies, international law, and the new world disorder’’, Stanford Journal of International Law, Vol. 34 (Winter 1998); Coleman, above note 12; Milliard, above note 28. 39 Article 4A(1) of the Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, of 12 August 1949 (GC III), and Article 43 of Additional Protocol I thereto (P I). 40 GC III, Article 4A(2). L. Cameron – Private military companies and their status under international humanitarian law 582of the Third Geneva Convention or Article 43 of Protocol I) into the armed forces, or their capacity to meet the requirements to qualify as a militia in the sense of Article 4A(2) of that Convention. Under Article 4A(1), it must be ascertained whether an individual has been incorporated into a state’s armed forces according to the laws of the state. Under Article 4A(2), the group as a whole must be assessed to determine whether it meets those requirements. The first means by which PMC employees may qualify as combatants – which corresponds inversely to the fifth criterion of the definition of a mercenary – is to determine whether they are members of the armed forces of a party to the conflict. Article 43.2 of Protocol I stipulates that ‘‘Members of the armed forces of a Party to a conflict … are combatants, that is to say, they have the right to participate directly in hostilities.’’ 41 It is thus necessary to assess whether private military company employees are incorporated within the armed forces of a party to a conflict, as defined in Article 43.1 of Protocol I or Article 4A(1) of the Third Geneva Convention. It is conceivable that in rare cases they might be. Indeed, if all of them were so incorporated, that would solve all regulation issues and pose no problems for their categorization under international humanitarian law. However, the whole point of privatization is precisely the opposite – to devolve on the private sector what was previously the preserve of government authorities. It would seem to be at variance with the philosophy of outsourcing to contend that private military companies are nonetheless members of a state’s armed forces. 42

www.icrc.org...

And if they are combatants this means they are allowed weapons, since this is established it is time to question if NATO allows the use of RPGS. Since ISAF uses them, then COMPASS-ISS is more than likely also allowed to have them.
edit on 31-12-2012 by Brotherman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 



In other words, the email from the CID Special Agent that indicates there was an investigation done by CID, dated 19 December, wasn't forwarded to me until the 27th, the day I published this, I had written the opening statements days before.


Thanks. I forgot about this post.


The latest responses to Ben's inquiries were received by him on 19 December, 2012 (we were just made aware of them moments ago while publishing this article) from US ARMY CID seem to indicate there was "an investigation".


A lot to digest here!



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Brotherman
 





And if they are combatants this means they are allowed weapons, since this is established it is time to question if NATO allows the use of RPGS. Since ISAF uses them, then COMPASS-ISS is more than likely also allowed to have them.

If you can confirm this then the OP is debunked, it would prove that Mr Timmons was in the wrong in the first place to even report the RPGs.

Good work (if its ture)

Just on another note I want to say something,

This thread is fantastic it’s how a thread should be done on ATS, while I may disagree with the OP on many points they discussion that has followed should be shown up to all members as to “how it should be done”.

We have had post after post of members conversing civilly but not only that actually doing some of the investigation for themselves yet still working as a team to add to the OP and work out what might really have went down.

This is exactly what I think ATS should be about, not about petty little arguments and resorting to stupid ignorant points.

Thanks guys!

and thanks spriger and the staff for the site as a whole
edit on 31-12-2012 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
 


The documents I am reading suggest that it is very questionable the roles of PMC but ultimately they operate as independant private militias and have to follow the geneva convention either arguement still proves one thing,
1. if compass is a recognized pmc they have can defensively protect themselves.
2. If they are not pmcs then the hosting country is more than likely obligated to protect them as they cannot protect themselves and are hired by a military organization to serve a function for them

if you understand my line of thinking. The question to me isn't about rpgs anymore because the taliban will always have them rather it is everything behind what is allowed or not by all the entities in question if compass is allowed rpgs then whats the big deal if they have them and if they are not then the people that defend them are allowed to have rpgs and more than likely they will be near compass persons



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 01:56 PM
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I'll say it again, the PSCs having the RPGs is the problem. They're not supposed to, the reasons why have been made clear not only in this story, but from multiple sources including a video showing what's happening over there in living color.

When you have PSCs that appear to be failing miserably at security, fake or no IDs, little to no information about who is in your compound at any given time, supplies and weapons coming up missing routinely, employees under the influence of opiates, etc... there's a reason you want to make certain there is no chance of something like an RPG laying around, much less being stored in quantities and handed out.

Think about it from that perspective, then consider the rules and regulations these companies are supposed to be following as part of their getting paid millions of our tax dollars dollars and keeping their contracts.

Another analogy would be the TSA hiring contractors who hire subcontractors who then hire potential Taliban members to handle security for our airlines. How long would that go on before both houses of congress demanded an investigation and a complete overhaul of the TSA? Why would we not seek protect our troops to the same level we seek to protect the flying public? Flying is an inherently risky business, fighting a war is magnitudes more dangerous, why wouldn't we want to ensure our troops had every protection we can offer them?

The Armed Services Committee Report that, based on what I read, could have predicted the Camp Bastion attack, seems to have been pretty much ignored based on the evidence and the ongoing issues. Lots of changes in regulations and paperwork but apparently little to no change where it counts, in the activities of these contractors.

Springer...



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


This was a pretty crazy read. Then reading several other replies I could see the need for RPG's and higher powered weapons, but your most recent reply I think sums up why this is such a big deal.

It's not so much that the PSC's have these weapons it's the fact that the handling of the weapons is so loose. These PSC's must be getting the weapons from somewhere, which would be a pretty good reason for the lack of concern from lower level troops on the ground over there.

Seems like a full blown investigation would turn up a lot of dirt on other people, not just Compass.



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:10 PM
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"Has our government been made aware that illegal weapons, RPGs specifically, are in the hands of civilian Afghan subcontractors hired by U.S. DOD, UN, the ISAF (International Security Assistance Forces), and NATO contractors to protect the convoys supplying our troops and done nothing about it?"

RPG's are not illegal NATO allows their use to ISAF, COMPASS-ISS is considered an OFFICIAL PMC, although blurry distinctions into combatant roles RPGs are a common weapon used by both Afghan Military and the Taliban

"Several days ago we received an email from a gentleman in New Zealand, Mr. Ben Timmons, who claims to have been witness to illegal weapons, RPGs specifically, in the hands of Afghani subcontractors, working for a Private Security Company (PSC), who were under contract to guard convoys of fuel and other supplies in Afghanistan in February, 2011."

If not RPGS did he disclose what weapons they had to protect convoys and fuels?

"During the second day of following Ms. H., Ben discovered RPGs under a blanket in the rear of one of the guard vehicles during his compliance inspection at the check point all the guard vehicles had to pass through to exit the compound. Ben stepped back away from the vehicle and reported what he saw to Ms. H. who responded, strangely, "I've never seen one".

Let's stop here for a moment...

RPGs are illegal in Afghanistan for obvious reasons, they are the Taliban's weapon of choice. ISAF regulations also forbid the possession of RPGs among non combatant personnel. In other words, a PSC allowing its employees (subcontractors or otherwise) to have RPGs in Afghanistan is huge violation of just about every law, regulation, and contract stipulation and basic common sense imaginable."

He was there for 2 days and knows it all, I again have to argue RPGs are not illegal

I agree PMCs need more oversight and more follow through but I am having a hard time seeing what you are getting at the more I look into it.


All quotations come from OP page 1
edit on 31-12-2012 by Brotherman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by Timing
 


I certainly agree with you here, the whole war needs a thorough investigation and would probably bring all kinds of things to light I am just afraid those guilty of illegal actions will be rewarded



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


I agree PSCS are the problem RPGs in that region are necassary to fight war, I believe war is bad so I dont believe RPGs are ok I think the largest problem is lack of oversight of this monster we call OEF this link I pulled for you will be at the least a good read as alot of content in it establish a firm stance that PSCs are bad but negates the weapons used to fight a war or for protection

www.eisf.eu...(PSCs)%20Dilemma%20in%20Afghanistan.pdf



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by Brotherman
 


You're correct that in Iraq the PSCs were allowed to use whatever they wanted, they weren't drawn from the local population.

That was changed in Afghanistan in 2008 (I believe it was 2008, I've read so much the dates are getting jumbled in my head) by President Karzai. The PSC guards are limited to the rifles issued by their employer (typically AK-47s) and they're only allowed to carry them while on duty. If you think about the fact they are hiring subcontractors from the local population (which is writhing with insurgents and Taliban) it makes sense.

Springer...



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


I will not argue that point They already know Karzai the US everybody already knows is my point the question of RPGs is irrelevant

www.bbc.co.uk...

Karzai retracted those rules and it is still buisness as usual that is the problem in my opinion




Mr Karzai pledged to limit the operations of these firms when sworn in for a second term as president last year. He said they had become a parallel security system, which undermined the development of Afghan government forces. The private security firms are hired to protect international forces, the UN mission, aid organisations, embassies and Western media companies in Afghanistan. Many of these will now be allowed to finish their contracts, our correspondent says. So too will the seven security firms responsible for protecting Nato supply trucks in Afghanistan. There was no immediate response from Nato to the latest announcement.


Maybe we should get a copy of Compass contracts with afghan government if it is paid for by tax dollars maybe I can put my arguement to rest
edit on 31-12-2012 by Brotherman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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I can’t find anything that specifically prohibits the ownership/use of RPG’s or any other weapons. They do need to license them and pay a fee, and their use is restricted to areas that the PSC is licensed for.


(1) The staff of the security company can not carry weapons, ammunitions and other equipments out of the areas mentioned in the operational license and can not move with unlicenced armored vehicles.

(2) The license cards for weapons, ammunitions, other equipment, and armored vehicles included in paragraph (1) of this article are prepared and distributed by the High Coordination Board according to the attached guideline; the security company must pay the appropriate fee. The fee table is included in the guideline as Table 4.


Procedure for Regulating Activities of Private Security Companies in Afghanistan

Also, was Ben trained in weapons identification and was that part of his job?

Would he know what this was? ( I still don't)




posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Zarniwoop
 


Article 1 in your link has an inclusion for explosives I do not know if this includes rockets I will research that. I am tying to find Compass-iss contract right now as well. Thank you for providing that it gives me a good lead to check out!



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by Brotherman
 


I apologise if I am asking too much of you here or if I am missing the point you are trying to make but I have a request.

Could you please put up a post on this site that clearly shows beyond doubt that it was legal for Compass ISS to have RPGs?

The reason I ask is because we have already on this thread proven that Mr Timmons is a highly questionable source, like you say he was in the country for only a couple of days and then starts making these accusations and in addition to that as I and another member have shown his past shows him to be a rather shady character.

If you were able to prove to us that RPGs are legal weapons with Compass ISS and then we combine that with the evidence that’s proves Mr Timmons to be a unreliable source then it pretty much proves that his claims are untrue and as such this thread becomes for lack of a better word “debunked”.

To be clear I do think that this thread has raised some very important questions regarding the wider use of PMCs’ in Afghanistan. However I think that the issues raised by Mr Timmons to Springer have been mostly fabricated and exaggerated as Mr Timmons seems to have some other agenda. That said yes I agree that the issue of PMCs needs to be looked at further as there is definitely something untoward regarding how they operate and are regulated with in Afghanistan and Springer’s thread has highlighted these.



posted on Dec, 31 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by Brotherman
 


I don't think you're going to have much luck with Compass contracts due to the legal implications.

Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security




I also found this, indicating RPGs are indeed illegal, but common...



Winning in Afghanistan: Creating Effective Afghan Security Forces





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