Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

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John99's picture
John99
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Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

The bankers would seem to be starting to play hardball.

As many praise the strength of the Icelandic people to  vote 93% against the global bankers, just days later, media and government announce a private Dutch Mercenary Group are coming to Iceland to take over the old NATO base in Keflavik. If anyone has info on this company ECA Program Ltd., please post it here.

If you click the links, you'll notice the propaganda machine is even using an old, 'Top Gun' photo of Tom Cruise, to sell the romance. Poor Iceland!

Iceland has taken up a private army contractor’s offer to pay ISK 200 million (US $1.6 million) to set up an airbase in the country.

The company, ECA Program, is offering the amount to refit the airbase in Keflavík, which has been left unused since the United States removed its military presence in 2006. Former barracks have been turned into extra lodgings for students of the University of Iceland.

As Iceland is a charter member of NATO, it would not have any logistical issues with ECM Program, as it notes it has “seamless compatibility” with the alliance. The country of Iceland could use a sudden flush of money too, as it grapples with paying off banker’s debt to the United Kingdom and Holland.

However, as the country does not have a military of its own, save for a coast guard, Icelanders are known for their pacifism. A group called the Campaign Against Militarism, which is part of an active movement in Iceland to get the country out of NATO, and sprang out of opposition to the Keflavík base, is strongly opposed to ECM Program, claiming the company is nothing more than a mercenary group that was denied permission to operate in Canada.

Continued at: http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/03/20/iceland-to-get-private-army/

From another Icelandic Site:

Game Score: Iceland: 1, Global Bankers: 0.
Round Two Begins!

I believe Round Two in the 'Iceland verses Bankers' battle has just begun (and with the help of your politicians), that being: 'Private Army Comes to Iceland'.http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/03/20/iceland-to-get-private-army/

There are mixed emotions over this new development, and is it not strange, happening so quickly after the referendum.....?

Of course, the politicians defend this move by saying this new company is bringing 200 Billion ISK into the economy and the promise of much needed jobs in these depressed times. The propaganda machine even uses a close-up photograph of a young Tom Cruise sitting in the cockpit of a F-16 fighter jet conjuring up images of the movie, 'Top Gun', full of macho young guys bringing their hard earned money into the local town to spend on cheap drinks and fast women. Sounds exciting, does it not? http://grapevine.is/Home/ReadArticle/Private-Military-Company-Given-Green-Light

But there is another side of the story and very likely more realistic pictures that should be viewed (http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/photos/2010/03/riots-in-greece-over-debt-cris.html).

After all who, and what is, this new company coming to help out Iceland in its hour of need? 'ECA Program Ltd' is a privately-owned mercenary company based out of Netherlands. Mmm, Netherlands, where have we heard that before???

When you cut through the smoke and mirrors and pretty pictures, the job of this private military force is to kill, attack, bomb and destroy and/or control humanity, either directly (as assistance to other military warriors), or as a teaching facility to train soldiers in the art of killing, attacking, bombing and destroying humanity. And who are their customers??? When you sort through the layers of government ownership, the customers are the same bankers to whom you sent the referendum message.

Who is the owner of such a capital intensive company, ECA Program Ltd., after all owning '4th generation' attack aircraft, missile launchers, drones, cruise missile simulators and a host of other killing hardware costs a little more than setting up a hamburger restaurant? And then to have a spare 1.2 Billion Euros for the Iceland project is very serious money. My guess is this company is financed by the same global bankers, as well.

Does anyone believe this is merely coincidental that days after the referendum, your government approves a private Dutch mercenary group to inhabit Iceland?? If you do believe it is coincidence, I have some sunny, beach-front property for sale on the north coast of Greenland!.....

continued at: http://forums.icelandweatherreport.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=407

 

 

DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

Bad news indeed John...thanks for updating us.  If Iceland is concerned about security, maybe they should take the same route as Switzerland instead of allowing mercenaries to come into the country.  Once in, how do you invite them out?

Larry

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nickbert
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Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

"Mercenary company"?  Sorry, I don't buy it.  I went to their website, and if what is there accurately describes the entirety of their operations this is about as much as a mercenary company as my mom's book club.  Apparently they provide training support for a variety of military air operations, largely through simulators from the description.  Nowhere does it describe them providing ground security services (or even offering training or consulting for such things) like the former Blackwater company.  So for the people you're talking a lot of engineers, some retired military (likely from various European air forces or navies) serving as engineers or subject matter experts, perhaps some construction guys, and a heck of a lot of computer nerds.  You're not going to see people like this:

america's army

Rather, you'll see many of them look more like this:

Nerds

Laughing

I can understand if there are pacifist objections on the basis of the project and company having involvement with military support, but branding them as a mercenary group or private military force, based on the information given, is absurd.  Sorry, but this seems to be mostly spin.  A slightly more legitimate concern might be military units coming into Iceland for training at this site, but given the nature of the training (air, not ground, operations) even that's stretching things since you wouldn't have the right kind of people needed to carry out a military takeover.

- Nickbert

Thomas Hedin's picture
Thomas Hedin
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Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

Once in, how do you invite them out?

With a 3500 fps invitation?  Of course I'm joking.

strabes's picture
strabes
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Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

Nick, we've come a long way since WW1.  Air control, sea control, and tech geeks are what every war since then has been about.  The hi tech control grids in place over many countries are all about air, satellites, computers.  Compared to ground troops, kids with joysticks in Colorado Springs do far more damage and create a lot more fear because they're terror weapons.  Our operations in Pakistan are all air...regularly killing people who can do nothing about it. We need ground in places like Iraq and Afghan (and boy will we need them in Iran) because those folks are a tad more recalcitrant than your average middle class westerner and they have endless waves of reinforcements coming through their borders.  With a bit of tech and air support, it wouldn't be hard to put an isolated country like Iceland in fear to get the rabble rousers to shutup. 

So I have no idea what ECA is all about, but just because they aren't a company of foot soldiers means nothing.

nickbert's picture
nickbert
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Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

strabes-

The context of the article and original post was that a "private army / mercenary group / private military force" was moving in, and THAT embellishment is what I have issues with.  They should be judging the project and the company on its actual merits and flaws, not using sensationalist exaggerations to scare people into acting out of fear.   That being said, I do think there may be other reasons for concern and why it might not be a good idea.  Maybe the biggest one is not military in nature, but rather involves economic and political leverage... having a new company moving in and offering jobs and boosting the local economy seems like a win-win at first, but one could have the potential situation where a foreign interest is a large part of the local economy.  That can easily sway the local politics in a direction that favors outside interests but hurts the local country as a whole (we've seen it happen enough times around the world already).  Another possibility (lesser, IMO) is that the existence of this project and amount of foreign investment involved could serve as a pretext (if a flimsy one) for foreign intervention, military or economic, if Iceland takes a stand that threatens the interests of the foreign entities involved. 

However, I just can't see a significant military threat as a direct result of this kind of project.  The possibilities for terror or intimidation tactics using air assets certainly exist, but unlike ground forces they don't need, or benefit appreciably from, a local base of operations.  They can do what you say right now with minimal effort... heck, based on the listed range for the Predator UAV, they probably could send drones from the British Isles to Iceland and back without a problem.  Now this is just guesswork on my part, but given that it seems to me the two most probable explanations for this is either a) there is no ulterior motive and it simply is what it is, a random company looking to make money and do business; b) a mid-term plan by foreign interests to gain economic and political leverage over Iceland; or c) both of the above.  I think you may be right that there's a cause for concern, only that it comes from a different method.  It seems TPTB have typically favored economic weapons of intimidation and/or destruction (when circumstances permit) over military ones, and so I expect that's the path they'll take here.  For now.  Undecided 

- Nickbert

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0326/whistleblower-site-accuses-spying-opera...

Quote:

In an extraordinary editorial, the whistleblower site WikiLeaks has demanded that the United States "stop spying" on its operations.

"Over the last few years, WikiLeaks has been the subject of hostile acts by security organizations," founder Julian Assange writes. "We've become used to the level of security service interest in us and have established procedures to ignore that interest. But the increase in surveillance activities this last month, in a time when we are barely publishing due to fundraising, are excessive."

On Tuesday evening, followers of the WikiLeaks Twitter feed were startled to read, "WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation." This was followed a few minutes later by "If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible." A succeeding message warned, "We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don't think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks."

Friday's editorial finally fills in the background of those cryptic messages. Assange apparently believes that his group is under close surveillance by US intelligence because of its planned release of "a classified U.S. military video showing civilian kills by U.S. pilots" under the command of General David Petraeus.

Most of the incidents that he cites, however, have occurred in Iceland, where WikiLeaks representatives have been holding discussions with members of the Icelandic parliament about the possibility of turning that nation into a haven for investigative journalism.

"We have discovered half a dozen attempts at covert surveillance in Reykjavik both by native English speakers and Icelanders," Assange writes. "On the occasions where these individuals were approached, they ran away. One had marked police equipment and the license plates for another suspicious vehicle track back to the Icelandic private VIP bodyguard firm Terr."

Assange also notes that when he flew from Iceland to Norway last week to speak at an investigative journalism conference, "two individuals, recorded as brandishing diplomatic credentials checked in for my flight at 12:03 and 12:06 under the name of 'US State Department'. The two are not recorded as having any luggage."

In addition, "a WikiLeaks volunteer, a minor, was detained by Icelandic police on a wholly insignificant matter. Police then took the opportunity to hold the youth over night, without charge--a highly unusual act in Iceland. The next day, during the course of interrogation, the volunteer was shown covert photos of me outside the Reykjavik restaurant 'Icelandic Fish & Chips', where a WikiLeaks production meeting took place on Wednesday March 17--the day before individuals operating under the name of the U.S. State Department boarded my flight to Copenhagen."

It is important to note that there has so far been no outside confirmation of Assange's charges, and the Icelandic government has already denied his suggestion that it might be aiding in the surveillance. According to IceNews, "An assistant to the Minister of Justice said the ministry and its staff would like to distance themselves from the Wikileaks editorial's allegations and said that any such action, if it took place, would have been a police matter." The Reykjavik chief of police, however, insists "that Icelandic police have not been working with the American secret services."

The Australian-born Assange launched WikiLeaks in January 2007, and it has been a thorn in the side of governments ever since. In late 2008, for example, Raw Story reported on an attempt by the German intelligence service to force WikiLeaks to remove files revealing its bungled false flag operation in Kosovo.

Two years ago, Wired.com reported, "When online troublemaker Julian Assange co-founded Wikileaks, the net's premiere document-leaking site last year, some were skeptical that the service would produce anything of interest. Now, after 18 months of publishing government, industry and military secrets that have sparked international scandals, led to takedown threats and briefly gotten the site banned in the United States, Assange says Wikileaks is just getting started changing the world."

Last week, Wikileaks released a March 2008 document (pdf) suggesting that the United States was concerned about "the possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org" and was considering an attempt to "damage or destroy" the site by exposing or taking legal action against its sources.

The introduction to the document comments dryly that "as two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective." If Assange's current charges are justified, however, it would seem that the US government has continued to regard WikiLeaks as a genuine threat -- one which might be intensified if Assange's hopes to establish a "journalism haven" in Iceland are realized.

"In my role as WikiLeaks editor, I've been involved in fighting off more than 100 legal attacks over the past three years," Assange wrote last month. "To do that, and keep our sources safe, we have had to spread assets, encrypt everything, and move telecommunications and people around the world to activate protective laws in different national jurisdictions. We've become good at it, and never lost a case, or a source, but we can't expect everyone to make such extraordinary efforts."

"That's why I'm excited about what is happening in Iceland, which has started to see the world in a new way after its mini-revolution a year ago," he continued. "Not surprisingly, the foreign press has developed an interest in the proposal. All over the world, the freedom to write about powerful groups is being smothered. Iceland could be the antidote to secrecy havens, rather it may become an island where openness is protected -- a journalism haven."

John99's picture
John99
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 27 2009
Posts: 490
Re: Mercenary Force comes to Iceland

Good article, CB.

Also enjoyed this video on IMMI - Icelandic Mondern Media Initiative, with interview of the WikiLeaks co-founder:

http://immi.is/

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