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Force for Hire

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Welcome to Force for Hire, where we will take you on a deep dive into the shadowy world of private military contracting. Hosts Michelle Harven and Desmon Farris will take listeners behind the scenes of this often misunderstood aspect of modern warfare.


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Recent Episodes

Wrapping up, a look at key issues, and farewell
In this final episode of Force for Hire, we examine some key issues about the private military contracting world that we uncovered.The cost effectiveness of contracting kept coming up as one of the major questions during the season, and experts had widely differing answers.We found that the broad use of third-country and host-country nationals in security contracting often goes overlooked, particularly when it comes to their casualty rates.We examine the use of private contractors by the Defense Department for intelligence, and how intelligence agencies have relied on them since 9/11.Addressing one of the main questions of the series, we look at trends within the military contracting industry and examine its future.Thank you for listening to Force for Hire. Stay tuned for Military Matters, our new topical podcast that will launch this fall. We hope you’ll join us.The full transcript of the podcast can be found
'Mercenary Mum' talks leaving military, joining contracting world
In this penultimate episode of Force for Hire, we welcome on air Neryl Joyce, an Australian servicemember who turned to contracting when she wasn’t allowed to deploy with her fellow soldiers. She soon found out that what kept her from deploying with the Australian military was one of her greatest assets in the private sector. Joyce worked with a couple of different private military contractors, one of which was the infamous Blackwater. In this episode she talks about her experiences with both, her time in Iraq and what it was like being a woman in the PMC world. Next week we’ll be wrapping up Force for Hire with a look back at the biggest issues facing the private security and contacting worlds. We hope you’ll join us.
Contractors: Asset or liability to nation's cybersecurity?
Thanks to high-profile cybersecurity operations — the recent U.S. cyberattack against Iran and Russia’s 2016 attack on Ukraine’s power grid, for example — the public is much more aware of the digital threats that the U.S. faces.While the public lags behind in understanding these threats, the U.S. has for years been taking steps to keep U.S. assets safe from foreign and domestic hackers. The National Security Agency has long been responsible for cybersecurity operations, and the military has stepped up by raising individual cybersecurity commands.Private contractors have also taken part — or even led the charge — in the digital defense arena, but not without controversy.  A Navy contractor was responsible for a Chinese hack last year that resulted in stolen U.S. anti-ship missile data. Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor, became a household name after leaking reams of sensitive data.Richard Clarke, special cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush and author of "The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats," joins us this week on Force for Hire.Clarke addresses cybersecurity threats and how military contractors have helped and hurt U.S. national security. Clarke has worked for the Pentagon, State Department and the White House, and his decades of experience make him among the top experts in the field.
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Podcast Details
Feb 13th, 2019
Latest Episode
Oct 9th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes

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