***** Security Operations: An Introduction to Planning and Conducting Private Security Details for High Risk Areas. By Robert H. Deatherage, Jr.; published by Turtle Press, www.turtlepress.com (Web); 214 pages; $29.95.
In this text, author Robert H. Deatherage, Jr. tackles the subject of private security details in high-risk war zones. The book is written as a how-to for turning a basic private security company (PSC) into a PSC “on steroids.”
In reality, this book is not so much about security as it is about “shadow” military operations. Thus, it would not appeal as much to serious security professionals as it would to the young, adventurous, and nondiscriminating reader: the type of person who longs to visit far-off lands and, as the irreverent joke goes, meet new, interesting people and shoot them.
The most disturbing elements of the text deal with use of deadly force. Not much is offered about risk management or about planning for and prevention of armed contact. The implied goal is simply for the security operatives to protect the “client” by shooting their way out of preventable situations.
Deatherage has an impressive military background, as evidenced by the format of the book. The text reads like a special operations or field manual adapted to the civilian security sector, albeit with numerous spelling, typographical, and grammar errors.
The text is copyrighted 2008. You may recall that the year before, a shootout in Baghdad, Iraq, involving the company then known as Blackwater Worldwide left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. One would hope this incident provided a lesson. Legitimate armies hold their members accountable to internal doctrines and the laws of war; while in lawless war zones, PSCs often operate with impunity. If governments cannot control them, their leaders and practitioners must operate responsibly and properly police themselves.
Reviewer: Frederick D. “Rick” Arons, CPP, CRT (Certified in the Reid Technique), is president and CEO of American Eagle Investigations in Eagle, Idaho. He specializes in corporate security investigations and threat analysis. He is a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and an expert in insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare. He is a member of ASIS International.