TCS Daily


War Continuation Insurance?

By Josh Manchester - October 5, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wall Street Journal editorial page recently noted that CIA and other government officers are now buying legal insurance in droves, lest they be sued in the future for their attempts to lawfully interrogate Al Qaeda and other prisoners:

"The Washington Post reported yesterday that more CIA counterterrorism officers are signing up for private insurance that would pay for civil judgments and legal costs if they are sued or charged with a crime. These are the agents who interrogated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and other jihadis, using what President Bush last week called methods that were legal but 'tough.' Those methods succeeded in breaking these men into divulging information that led to the arrest of other al Qaeda bigs, and to the foiling of plots that could have killed thousands.

"'There are a lot of people who think that subpoenas could be coming from Congress after the November elections or from federal prosecutors if Democrats capture the White House in 2008,' wrote the Post, quoting a retired intelligence officer close to the CIA's Directorate of Operations, which conducted the interrogations."

Setting aside the particulars of this form of insurance, one wonders: what other events or outcomes might an enterprising start-up insurance company offer comprehensive coverage to prevent or protect against?

The privatization of the war on terror has been one of the least-remarked upon aspects of our current fight. Yet there are dozens of private security firms operating in Iraq and this industry is evolving very rapidly from the realm of start-up to that of sophisticated global business. It should surprise no one when private security firms begin to use complex financial techniques to offer more and varied services.

The blog "Global Guerrillas," which is dedicated to "networked tribes, infrastructure disruption, and the emerging bazaar of violence," recently noted that a new trade association has formed for private security companies operating in Iraq. The Private Security Company Association of Iraq (PSCAI), boasts 30 member companies on its website, and even offers a way to set up Requests for Proposals with these vendors:

"Need personal security, site security, security management, site security layout plans, or just a one-time ride to somewhere in Iraq? Want this request to reach over 25 fully registered, established, and legal Private Security Companies currently operating in Iraq? Send the details of your requirements to . . ."

What other types of insurance might arise in this environment? How about insurance guaranteeing a continued prosecution of the war? Americans might be offered policies that stated that whatever party held the Congress or the Presidency, private actors would continue to perform key tasks in the war as they are now, as clearly defined in an insurance policy statement. These tasks might be training indigenous forces, capturing or killing certain individuals, or other actions.

There are holes in the idea of course: when does the insured initiate a claim? After an election? After a clear policy change? How does the insurance company know it has the financial wherewithal to continue operating if necessary? Yet these are exactly the types of risks that entrepreneurs have been mitigating and taking since time immemorial.

Philip Bobbitt, a strategist and legal scholar at the University of Texas wrote of another kind of market solution to intractable foreign policy problems in his 2002 work, The Shield of Achilles:

"The United States could develop an action program of lease-hire security insurance, licensing some forms of defense technology and emphasizing the U.S. role in providing information, missile defense, and even intervention for hire."

Such episodes are not far off. Moreover, they should be seen clearly for what they really are: an attempt by the West to use its most advanced developments, free markets, as best as possible in the prosecution of the war and the guarantee of the security of civilization. The brave new world of private security should to be studied and understood, not feared and shunned.

Josh Manchester is a TCS Daily contributing writer. His blog is "The Adventures of Chester".

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34 Comments

Abdication of responsibility
This is a clear case of abdication of responsibility by the movers and shakers of the society.

What will be the difference then, between war ravaged 4th world countries and the US?

Who is abdicating their responsibility, and how are they doing so?
...

Time for electoral insurance.
I have often wondered if money could be made offering insurance against the possibility that the "wrong" party is elected. People whose interests depend on the election of one party or the other could take out insurance against that party's loss.

For example, if you own an oil company, you could take out insurance in case the Democrats win and start investigating you for price fixing, conspiring with the Bush administration to lower your prices right before the election, and deny you the ability to drill off-shore and in places like ANWR.

If you are in the upper middle-class, you could take out insurance against all of those inevitable Democrat tax increases.

And so on... The primary difficulty would be setting the premiums. However, with tools like the Iowa Electronic Markets, and with the profit motive driving the gathering of polling data rather than political agendas, it just might be doable.

what about Fatwa insurance?
Maybe you all need that too in case the islamo-facists win against the increasingly decadent and weakened west. Or maybe testosterone insurance for liberals who have no ballls.

What about REP page boy insurance both for and from!
Though if the Dem take more seats there will be less need.

You are an ass
and so eager to prove it- Foley is gone as he should be-but if he was a democrat, such as Gerry Studds who actually penetrated a page (censured by given a standing O on his return) a murderer or coward (Ted Kennedy), a Klansman (Robert Byrd) then he'd be sitting pretty..

Oh yeah, then again diddling interns is a presidential prerogative only?

No Subject
at least the presidential intern you speak of was old enough TO CONSENT
Republicans were so worried about losing a seat by admitting one of their own was gay that they harboured a criminal, and now you want to defend that pedophile?
go ahead and shoot yourself in the foot again...

Check ABC
The page who was the recipient of the IMs was of legal age; therefore, no pedophelia. Sorry. Also, Foley is not a criminal until he is tried of the crime and proven guilty. This is not Wonderland yet - no "sentence first, trial later", at least until the "red queen" becomes President.

Who says what's legal?
This post is a parody of the fact that some interrogators are buying liability insurance, in case they are charged with illegally abusing someone: "The Wall Street Journal editorial page recently noted that CIA and other government officers are now buying legal insurance in droves, lest they be sued in the future for their attempts to lawfully interrogate Al Qaeda and other prisoners."

But that's the question: is waterboarding lawful? I hope it isn't. I hope waterboarding in the name of the United States is a criminal offence, the "only following orders" defence having been disposed of.

Anyway, it's not my call, at least not in the short run. It's for the courts. I say, bring it on.

age of consent
The TV coverage revealed an irony. While sex between a 50 year old and a 16 year old is legal in the District, soliciting sex with a 16 year old over the internet (which is what those IMs may amount to) is not. Congressman Foley himself championed that law.

The IMs...
were with an 18 year old, according to ABC.

waterboarding
Waterbarding has for years been part of the SERE school. Pilots and their US military persnnel undergo waterboarding and other "harsh interogation practices" as part of the training that qualifies them for their jobs.

Yep, the former page was 18
This is looking like yet another phony scandal. It seems the Congressman was just a gay gentleman trying to get his freak on. I find it disgusting, but then I'm a conservative straight guy.

No Subject
" were with an 18 year old, according to ABC."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/09/sixteenyearold_.html

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/10/new_foley_insta.html

so if i have sex with a 14 year old and it (some sort of twisted relationship) continues until she's of age you'll give me a pass?
these were boys, 16 and 17, and here's a congressman, a pedophile as far as i'm concerned, having sexually explicit conversations and trying (if not acting upon it) to get them to drink with him and meet up at various times.

don't defend this scumbag, admit the Rebpublicans are treating this totally wrong and have done so in the past.


now back to your regularly scheduled programming....

Which begs the setting of the bar
Answer this ONE question strait up LB, NO DODGING!


IF you KNEW waterboarding would save this country a million lives in a nuclear attack, would you personaly OK it then?


Take the givens in this one LB, weasaling out by changing parameters is grounds for disgust and future censure.

No Subject
IT ALL BEGAN LONG BEFORE THE BOY WAS 18
'nuff said
republican or democrat, this guy is the co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children

and once again, he was plying them with drinks before the age of 18, they weren't in Louisiana so i'm pretty sure that aint legal either

and yet you want to defend it...fine with me, go down with that ship

Your question was worded wrong
You should have asked him:

"IF you KNEW waterboarding would COST this country a million lives in a nuclear attack, would you personaly OK it then?"

Then he'd answer "YES"

Yes, but it won't.
All the experts say your scenario is so unlikely that we are safer making waterboarding illegal. Torture is ineffective at getting intellegence.

Do you know the correct version of the founding father wisdom: "He who gives up a little liberty for a little safety will get neigher."? The same goes for other fundamental values: rule of law, presumption of innocence, etc. Giving them up in the name of safety will not make you safer.

The Bushies say that "alternative" interrogation techniques have led to good intellegence. I don't believe them. Maybe waterboarding led to some of the intellegence failures. Maybe that's why so many service people are against it.

and there you go weasaling out as usual.
"weasaling out by changing parameters is grounds for disgust and future censure"

well there you go, enjoy our collective digust and future censure (meaning it's useless to reply to your posts so I wont).

tell that to Gerry Studds and Bill Clinton
Who actually had sex with their respective pages/interns, not just talked dirty to them.

as usual, those on the far left can't see the beam in their own eyes.
...

knee jerking
I don't see SH defending Foley. I do see him pointing to the hypocrisy of the Democrats who are currently attacking Foley.

The "red queen" is currently leading in all the polls of Democratic contenders.
...

the problem is, what's legal changes from year to year.
...

RE: knee jerking
"I don't see SH defending Foley. I do see him pointing to the hypocrisy of the Democrats who are currently attacking Foley."

fair enough... but that doesn't mean they're wrong for gettting on his case. granted NEITHER party is perfect and both have had their 'indescresions' but i think they've got good reason to be in a huff over this one - dont you?

What a crock
We don't want to go into the past and list the Dems who have diddled pages. Does Clinton come to mind for starters?

What a stupid post!

RE: What a crock
"We don't want to go into the past and list the Dems who have diddled pages. Does Clinton come to mind for starters?

What a stupid post!"

How is this a partisan issue but for the fact that the GOP tried to cover it up? Hastert definitely knew more than he's acknowledging, most of Washington apparently did - if a Dem did this you'd all be going nuts about it, how is is any different becasue he's got a different letter attached to his name? (or at least, he did before he resigned)

This is fascinating
A 90 second history of who has controlled the middle east for the last 5000 years.

http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/imperial-history.html

Shaky Ground
According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal... Developing...

I would be going nuts?! LOL
If a dem did it they would get a pass (Clinton) or a pat on the back and a standing ovation (Studds). When a Republican does it they resign in disgrace.

Therefore, yeah; if a Democrat did it, and didn't immediately resign when confronted with it, I would be outraged; as I was with both of the afore mentioned.

Also, this man never consumated the act, the afore-mentioned Democrats did. Yet you will stand by Clinton all the way won't ya? There is no outrage over what he did.

Unlike you, I will reserve my judgement until the investigation is completed. My outrage will be tempered to the level of the offense, not whether he has an R or a D after his name.

As for Hastert, I doubt he knew any more than he is acknowledging. How could he?

I will not (and never have) judge any person by their political affiliation. But you go right ahead and bashing anyone with an R behind his name and I will sit back a laugh at your stupidity.

cases
I don't see anyone saying that the Dems and MSM are wrong to pursue Foley.

I don't see anyone saying that unless they were willing to hound Stubbs, they shouldn't hound Foley.

What I do see is a growing agravation towards the Democrats and the MSM and their increasing use of this double standard.

Foley resignes instantly and is widely condemned for sending inappropriate (perhaps even sick) IM's to a page.

Stubbs has sex with a page, and does not resign, is not asked to resign, and in fact receives three standing ovations from fellow Democrats. (And is even relected six more times, until he decides to retire on his own.)

Another case, though not involving minors. McGreevey writes a book about cheating on his wife, while she is in the hospital delivering their child. He writes about sleazy visits to truck stops and other gay hangouts. He is treated as a hero.
When we find out that a couple of Republican have cheated on their wives, the cries go out that these guys must resign. Usually from the same people who celebrated McGreevy's cheating.

I'm not, nor has anyone else, supporting Foley, or any of the other Republican sleazebags, I'm just mad as heck about the blatant double standard.

Another illusionary Democratic "scandal"...
bites the dust.

This is going to bite the Democrats in the ass big time.

I find it amazing that Demos have no problem proclaiming they support Jews when they throw them under the bus over Israel. I am amazed when they proclaim to be for blacks and then portray there enemies in blackface and Aunt Jemima costumes. I am even more amazed when the open-minded Demos out gays who happen to be on the "wrong" side of the aisle.

Perhaps hypocrit insurance is in order?

Fun...But now back to the point...
The author is suggesting that Financial Economic Entities might now step into the arena (up to now) considered appropriate only for sovereign nations. Should private companies prosecute foreigh wars? Of course, there were always individual soldiers of fortune working as mercenaries. Spartans, Hessians and US Special Ops graduates employed in the Congo.

But now third party corporate entities are hiring the combat teams and contracting with client governments to deploy "security services".

This is interesting in the sense that operating a sovereign state itself is no longer a "growth industry" with no money to be made. The most economical business model for even the United States involves outsourcing tasks that might be done "better, faster and cheaper" by a third party. If the US finds this reasonable then many other nations large and small might look to "military service contractors" as efficient ways to field a competitive team if push comes to shove.

Why should a developing sovereign state invest its limited budget on arms and training for a world class fighting force (standing army) when there is little likelihood there will ever be a significant threat to its borders? On the other hand, a fundamental vulnerability invites such trouble. The protection of an unholy relationship with some one of the major players, such as the United States, Russia, or China might depend on which democratically elected party comes to power. Therefore, a contract with someone called, for example, Deloitte Rand Lockheed Philippines (DRLP) for fully fitted combat divisions to be deployed on short notice might constitute an effective deterrent without a government taking sides in the United Nations.

Could a nation license such corporate entities incorporated inside its borders to move up the military food chain in this way? Yes. Could a business of this sort be profitable? Yes. Will it, therefore, probably happen? Yes. Might one such name in this industry be DRLP LLC (Deloitte Rand Lockheed Philippines)? Yes. Could be. If it ever happens, buy stock.

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