Brooklyn Congressman Hires Bodyguard

The New York Post, carrying a story by Natalie O’Neill, is reporting that the first politician to openly admit to hiring a bodyguard for protection in the wake of the Arizona killings is Congressman Micheal Grimm (R- Bay Ridge), from Brooklyn.

In an ironic twist of fate, all of Congressman Grimm’s Democratic collegaues in Brooklyn are stating that they have no intention of hiring security to ensure their safety. Grimm, a former Marine, is not only concerned for his own safety, but the safety of his staffers who accompany him.

It would appear that the decision for many politicians not to hire professional security is down to two reasons. Firstly, they would have to pay for it themselves and secondly, they are afraid of creating barriers between them and their consituents.

Regarding the first concern, it should not be too difficult or controversial to introduce a stipend to assist elected officals hire professional security personnel when they feel a need and can demonstrate that a potential threat may exist.
Afterall, the government already outsources these types of duties to private security firms for coverage in the U.S. and abroad.

Regarding the public being denied access to elected officals, this does not necessarily have to be the case. Whenever talk comes around to security, it is often linked to phrases like; “big, burly security guards”. The public and media alike should realize that Personal Protection, when conducted in a professional manner, is not as obtrusive as one might think.

Personal Protection or Close Protection, involves protecting a person in a very covert manner. Highly trained professionals remain in close enough contact with the person being protected in order to allow them to take action if necessary, whilst at the same time keeping their distance and allowing the person (in this case politician)to engage with the public.

Much planning goes on behind the scenes to allow for this “free flowing” movement. Professionals have an array of tools and devices to aid them. The days of the “big, burly security guard” blocking people’s path are over (for the more enlightened clients anyway). A professional bodyguard could easily pass as a politician’s aide and nobody would be any the wiser.

For more information on Executive Protection Services and to learn how to become an Executive Protection Agent, please visit the E.P. and Training pages of our website;

Security companies may not be able to hire Afghan police in future.

This Canadian report states that the Government of Afghanistan may start cracking down on security companies who lure Afghan police officers away for bigger pay.

It is little wonder why police officers would be enticed to resign – they are currently paid approximately $160 a month by the Afghan Government, but they could make quadruple that by working for private companies.

Afghan officials put the figure of lost police at around 19% of the Force. With a total force opf 97,000, those leaving account for nearly 20,000. One measure they may introduce is to put a “cap” or ceiling on the amount that police may be paid if they leave.

When I headed up the United Nations’ Special Investigations Unit in the former Yugoslavia, we also had former Balkan Police working for us. One young guy who acted as our official interpreter/police liaison in Croatia had only earned about $100 a month from the Croatian Government, saw his earnings skyrocket overnight when he began working for the U.N. for around $700 a month.

Hopefully both sides can come to some kind of mutual agreement so that the locals will be able to make and save a bit more money than they can now and thereby improve their living conditions and better help their families.

Are the Taliban Insurgents Winning the War in Afghanistan?

The US and NATO Commander, General McChrystal seems to think so. At least, they will win if he does not receive more troops. In this Washington Post article written by Bod Woodward on 9/21/09, The General lays out reasons for his thought provoking claim.

It is difficult to believe that this is the same Taliban who back in 2001 and 2002 were described as being poorly equipped and poorly trained – who appeared to have no chance whatsoever against the Coalition Forces.

Did the Coalition Forces make the mistake of dimissing the Taliban as a ragged, rabbel-rousing mob, incapable of inflicting serious damage on the more sophisticated Western Armies?

We should use history as our teacher (“those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”)and bear in mind that the Afghan fighting men have a long history of overcoming the odds and defeating the might of much bigger forces. One has only to look at how they kicked England’s arse on more than one occassion and the fact that they could not be defeated by the Soviets.

Washington does not appear to be overly concerned by General McChrystal’s warnings. It is not like the General is beating around the bush when he says; “without more forces within the next year, the eight year conflict will likely result in failure”. Even a double-talking Washington suit should be able to pick up on that statement. Private Investigators call that; “a clue”.

The General also criticizes Afhganistan’s very corrupt Government. He claims that the citizenry have little reason to support their Government. This coupled with the view that US/NATO resolve is uncertain, makes them unwilling to allign with us against the insurgents.

Far from viewing the Taliban as a bunch of rabble-rousers, General McChrystal refers to them as being a “muscular and sophisticated enemy”. He paints a very scary picture of petty offenders and ordinary criminals being housed with insurgents in jails across Afghanistan and subsequently being recruited by those detained insurgents.

The General warns that the Afghan prison system has become a “sanctuary and base to conduct lethal operations”. He goes on to state; “the enemy now operate with relative impunity in the prisons”. With all of the effort to eradicate insurgency ove the past 8 years, the General claims that “there are more insurgents per square foot in corrections facilities than anywhere else in Afghanistan”.

Seems like we should be focusing on the penal system more closely and building maximum security prisons where the hardcore extremists can posion each others’ minds instead of infecting those who may be merely “passing through”.

Seems like we should also be “bailing out” General McChrystal and giving him the means to defeat the enemy. Or do we just want to withdraw with our tail between our legs like the English and Russians did before us?