International Peace Operations Association


International Peace Operations Association

The International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) is a non-governmental trade and lobbying association representing the "peace and stability industry," sometimes referred to as private military companies (PMCs) or by critics as mercenaries. The IPOA is located in Washington DC, USA, and was founded in April 2001 by Doug Brooks, [cite web|url=http://ipoaonline.org/php/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=30|title=International Peace Operations Association - History|accessdate=2006-08-13] who currently serves as the association's president. The IPOA currently represents 42 companies [http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2007/09/blackwater-contractors-doug-brooks.html Blackwater's Man in Washington] ] which are required to pay dues and submit delegates to various committees within the IPOA. David Hammond, a lawyer who represents many PMCs in court, is the chairman of the general counsel committee. [cite web|url=http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter/lawArticleCareerCenter.jsp?id=1182243948850|title=Private Military Contractors Count On Crowell Partner|author=Daphne Eviatar|date=2007-06-20|accessdate=2007-07-17] The IPOA also publishes "The Journal of International Peace Operations" www.PeaceOps.com.

According to an article by Corpwatch, the IPOA's aim is to "reposition the industry as for-profit providers of armed men as peace keepers." [Phinney, David. [http://www.warprofiteers.com/article.php?id=12829 From Mercenaries to Peacemakers?: Scandals Confront Military Security Industry] . "CorpWatch", November 29th, 2005] The association's stated mission is "to promote high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the Peace and Stability Industry; to engage in a constructive dialogue with policy-makers about the growing and positive contribution of these firms to the enhancement of international peace, development, and human security; and to inform the concerned public about the activities and role of the industry." [http://ipoaonline.org/en/aboutus/mission.htm International Peace Operations Association Mission Statement] ] The IPOA's Code of Conduct "seeks to ensure the ethical standards of International Peace Operations Association member companies operating in conflict and post-conflict environments so that they may contribute their valuable services for the benefit of international peace and human security." [cite web|url=http://ipoaonline.org/en/standards/code.htm|title=International Peace Operations Association Code of Conduct|accessdate=2007-09-25] .

Association president Doug Brooks has said that the IPOA was created "because of 'Western-less' peacekeeping...the reality was that the West wasn't going to support humanitarian operations in places they don't give a shit about," like Congo and Darfur. "What would have happened if they had used ArmourGroup in Rwanda?"

On July 3 2007, when the Washington Post estimated that the number of PMC fatalities had topped 1000, Brooks stated that "There are more applicants than there are jobs...that's been the case from the beginning and it is still true, even though pay has gone down because there is a lot of competition." [cite web|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/03/AR2007070301456.html|title=In outsourced U.S. wars, contractor deaths top 1,000|author=Bernd Debusmann|date=2007-07-03|accessdate=2007-07-17]

Controversy

International leaders who? questioned the IPOA's policy governing illegal acts after a September 16 , 2007 incident in which employees of member organization Blackwater USA allegedly murdered 11 Iraqi civilians. [http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-7856-Iraq-revokes-Blackwater-security-license.html http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-7856-Iraq-revokes-Blackwater-security-license.html] ] On October 5, 2007, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military has faulted Blackwater for opening fire without provocation and using excessive force in the incident. [http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN0439965120071005 Blackwater faulted by U.S. military: report] ]

Blackwater has also been accused of previously using "aggressive tactics without regard for the well-being of Iraqis," and the Iraqi government had planned to revoke Blackwater's license and bring the perpetrators to justice in Iraq. However, Blackwater was allowed to resume activity after only a brief suspension, under the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Order No. 17, stating that private contractors "shall be immune from the Iraqi legal process." As a result, the issue of not holding Blackwater and other private security firms accountable for their actions has created the impression that Iraq's sovereignty is being undermined. [http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/09/3D6E3CE6-8B2C-4534-B533-3E3562CF2FB7.html Iraq: Blackwater Incident Could Further Undermine Premier] ] [http://www.embassymag.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2007/september/26/blackwater/ Blackwater Killings Expose Weaknesses in War Laws] ]

On October 9, 2007, IPOA member company Unity Resources Group was involved in an incident in Baghdad in which two Armenian Christian women, both civilians, were shot dead. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/11/world/middleeast/11iraq.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin 2 Women Killed in Security Shooting Are Buried in Iraq] by Andre E. Kramer and James Glanz, The New York Times, October 11, 2007.]

According to IPOA president Brooks, criminal action by a member company could result in expulsion from the IPOA, which would be a "commercial kiss of death" from the association. However Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and prominent industry critic, criticized this policy: "Being kicked out of IPOA is not the proper punishment for a criminal action. It's great that an organization is willing to do that, but it's sort of like kicking O.J. out of the country club." As of 2007, the IPOA has never expelled an association member.

In mid-October 2007, Blackwater USA announced the company was taking a "hiatus" from membership in IPOA. [ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119207104012555696.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Blackwater Quits Security Association] by August Cole, The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2007.] [ [http://ipoaonline.org/php/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=156&Itemid=80 IPOA Statement Regarding the Membership Status of Blackwater USA] ]

IPOA members

*Agility Logistics
*Ameco
*ArmorGroup
*Ayr Aviation
*Blackwater USA (on hiatus from membership starting 10/07)
*Centigon
*Creative Associates International
*Demining Enterprises International Pty. Ltd.
*Dynsec Group AB
*EOD Technology, Inc.
*Erinys International
*Exploration Logistics Group
*Evergreen International Aviation
*Greystone Limited
*Hart Security
*INTAC Security Services
*MAC International
*Main Street Supply & Logistics
*Medical Support Solutions
*Military Professional Resources Inc.
*Olive Group
*OSSI-Safenet Security Services
*Pacific Architects & Engineers
*PADCO-AECOM
*RA International
*Reed, Inc.
*Regis Trading
*Ronco Consulting
*SecuriForce
*Security Support Solutions - 3S
*TOIFOR
*Total Intelligence Solutions
*Track 24
*Unity Resources Group

ee also

*Mercenary
*Private military company
*Arms trade
*UN Mercenary Convention
*Unlawful combatant#Mercenaries
*"" by Jeremy Scahill, Nation Books (2007)

References

External links

* [http://ipoaonline.org Official International Peace Operations Association website]
* [http://www.crinfo.org/action/search-profile.jsp?key=198760&type=org Description of IPOA on Conflict Resolution Information Source]
* [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Peace_Operations_Association Article on IPOA on Sourcewatch]
* [http://ipoaonline.org/journal/index.php?option=com_magazine&Itemid=26 Journal of International Peace Operations]
* [http://www.peaceops.com The Journal of International Peace Operations]


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