No Mercy for the Mercenaries

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Andrew Stone refers to Mark Thatcher's arrest regarding the failed coup in Equatorial Guinea as 'shining a light on a much larger imperial cabal' ('Some Mother's Son', October SR).

The importance of this cabal cannot be overstated. Along with Simon Mann, now thankfully incarcerated in Equatorial Guinea, there is a circle of ex SAS officers who have created a host of private military companies which have reputedly made £1 billion from work in Iraq already. Major Tim Spicer's company, Aegis Defence Services, and Erinys - founded by his superior in the SAS, Colonel Alistair Morrison - have both profited from the occupation of Iraq.

Many of these companies are sophisticated operations with good connections in the City and at Westminster. Armour Group, the Anglo-American security corporation, and Control Risk both sponsor events of the New Labour 'Foreign Policy Centre'. I am sure it is money well spent. The centre has published Robert Cooper's The Post-Modern State. This argued that 'Osama Bin Laden [by which he presumably means the 11 September 2001 atrocities] shows the entire world is potentially our neighbour, and therefore should benefit from the "imperialism of neighbours".' It's a jungle out there, Cooper declares, and 'we must also use the laws of the jungle'. The experts in 'jungle warfare' are none other than Mann and his old SAS chums, each with their own private military company.

Combined with the fact that a subsidiary of Control Risk was responsible for training Afghan Muslim fighters in the war against the Soviet Union, such interests put these British officers and gentlemen centre stage in the recent imperialist intrigue in the Islamic world.

Abdul-Nasser J G Baston
London