Last night’s epic talking filibuster by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, joined by senators Republican and Democrat (well, one Democrat), brought the GOP caucus, however briefly, around to a civil libertarian position scarcely imaginable for those of us who remember the George W. Bush years. Lindsey Graham and John McCain are still fighting the good fight, however.
Where did drones come from? Did they vault from the pages of science fiction straight into our hypothetical cafe experience? The answer is stranger than you think.
P.W. Singer (not to be confused with Peter Singer) gives a terrific history of robot warfare at the beginning of his book Wired for War, which is partially condensed in an essay at The New Atlantis. Drones began, as many great inventions have, with Nikola Tesla, who “first mastered wireless communication in 1893,” driving a motorboat outside Madison Square Garden. He was laughed out of the military for proposing the efficacy of his boat and remote controlled torpedoes.
World War I brought technology to warfare in a particularly unwieldy fashion–the strategy was 19th-century, the weapons were 20th-century. Prototypes floated around like supply-running “electric dogs” and the Kettering “Bug,” a gyroscope- and barometer-guided plane that crashed into things. The Germans guarded their coastlines with FL-7′s, boats loaded up with explosives and controlled by wire until Tesla’s wireless radio control entered the fields of war in 1916.
For the most part, World War I was a time of odd experiments in unmanned warfare, with few projects getting enough traction or funding to be implemented. World War II, on the other hand, was a veritable technological bonanza.
The Germans created the first cruise missile, ballistic missile, and jet fighter, as well as the first drone. The German drone, the FX-1400 or “Fritz” was, as Singer describes it: “a 2,300 pound bomb with four small wings, tail controls, and a rocket motor” that the Germans would drop from planes and guide by radio to its target.
The Americans were behind the curve, but experimented with “Operation Aphrodite” in 1944. Aphrodite was a plan to send bomber planes loaded with over a ton of Torpex–an explosive 50% stronger than TNT–and have the pilot bail once the explosives were armed so that a nearby ship could use video cameras mounted on the drone to guide it into heavily protected Nazi targets. On August 12, 1944 when a navy equivalent was sent out in pursuit of an experimental Nazi supercannon, the Torpex exploded before the plane even crossed the channel, killing the crew and scuttling the program in fear of the pilot’s powerful father.
The pilot of that ship was Joseph Kennedy, Jr., JFK’s older brother. Joe Kennedy the father was a millionaire, movie mogul, and most importantly, powerful political figure and former ambassador to Great Britain who was set on electing his eldest son Joe Junior president. After the younger Joe was killed, John F. Kennedy took up the family burden.
After World War II, drones took a backseat in the American military. The Firefly drone flew 3,435 missions over Vietnam and South Asia, but 16% crashed with no field tests or data collection. The Army launched the Aquila program in 1979, but burdened it with so many demands that the original battlefield spy became a typical bureaucratic boondoggle, with the original order of $560 million for nearly 800 drones turning into more than $1 billion for prototypes. Most of the experimental ground drones of this period were operated by fiber optic wire, ignoring Tesla once again and proving vulnerable to scissors.
Desert Storm made military air tech sexy, post-Cold War cuts made it a rising budgetary priority, and John Warner added a legislative mandate to a defense authorization bill in early 2001 that one-third of all attack aircraft should be unmanned by 2010. The drone explosion since the war on terror brought us to the present day, with unmanned aircraft flying missions across the world and becoming a key part of President Obama’s anti-terrorism strategy.
A final interesting note: the Global Hawk Drone pictured above is manufactured by Northrop Grumman, which bought out one of the most prominent drone manufacturers of World War II after the war. This manufacturer had a factory near Hollywood where an Army photographer doing a feature on women in industry discovered a shapely young lady working on the drones, and sent the photos he took of her to a modeling agency. The woman would soon become better known as Marilyn Monroe.
The cult of redemptive violence is one of the darkest currents in the political thought of the last few centuries. Although they were not squeamish, ancient writers on violence such as Thucydides, Xenophon, and Tacitus had no notion of killing as a source of meaning, rather than the means to specific ends.
Even Machiavelli, who condemns princes’ failure to deal decisively with enemies, does not suggest that they should derive any personal satisfaction from “execution”. On the contrary, Machiavelli argues that violence must be governed by reasons of state rather than the whims of a monster.
Machiavelli’s arguments for a rational economy of violence were swept away by the French Revolution. In a world turned upside down, killing and risking death came to be seen as constitutive of the resolute individual, rather than as necessary evils. Hegel’s so-called dialectic of master and slave is the most sophisticated articulation of this idea.
The Romantic understanding of violence as the crucible of the self had advocates on the Right, the Left, and those somewhere in between. In the 19th century, its protagonists included both Maistre and Bakunin. In the first half of the 20th century, mortal danger found its propagandist in Sorel, its philosopher in Heidegger, and its poet in Jünger (and, perhaps, its president in Theodore Roosevelt).
In the decades after World War II, however, the cult of violence found its home on the European Left. In his preface to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Jean-Paul Sartre described the anti-colonial terrorist as follows:
…this new man begins his life as a man at the end of it; he considers himself as a potential corpse. He will be killed; not only does he accept this risk, he’s sure of it. This potential dead man has lost his wife and his children; he has seen so many dying men that he prefers victory to survival; others, not he, will have the fruits of victory; he is too weary of it all. But this weariness of the heart is the root of an unbelievable courage. We find our humanity on this side of death and despair; he finds it beyond torture and death. We have sown the wind; he is the whirlwind. The child of violence, at every moment he draws from it his humanity. We were men at his expense, he makes himself man at ours: a different man; of higher quality.
Sartre was both revered and reviled for this assertion. So it’s interesting to watch him grapple with its implications just a few years later. In 1974, Sartre made a pilgrimage to Germany, where he visited the imprisoned Andreas Baader, leader of the murderous Red Army Faction. After a brief meeting, Sartre held a press conference at which he denounced the inhumanity of West Germany’s treatment of the martyr. At least in the mainstream press, Sartre’s accusations were widely understood as a confession of moral bankruptcy.
The release of new documents complicate this picture. According to a transcript of the meeting acquired by Der Spiegel, Sartre actually tried to convince Baader to abandon terror. Here is an excerpt from their conversation:
Sartre: The masses — the RAF has undertaken clear actions that the people don’t agree with.
Baader: It’s been established that 20 percent of the population sympathizes with us …
Sartre: I know. The statistics were prepared in Hamburg.
Baader: The situation in Germany is geared to small groups, both in terms of legality and illegality.
Sartre: These actions might be justified for Brazil, but not for Germany.
Sartre: In Brazil independent actions were needed to change the situation. They were necessary preparatory work.
Baader: Why is it any different here?
Sartre: Here there isn’t the same type of proletariat as in Brazil.
What’s happening is that Sartre is trying to put the genie of redemptive violence back into the bottle of rational control. Violence, he argues, can be justified when it contributes to a discernable goal, namely socialist revolution. Yet it is not an end in itself, as if it were just a form of expressive self-assertion.
Even apart from the absurdity of his politics, Sartre had no authority to make this argument. Perhaps more than any other Western intellectual, he had legitimized and even glamorized the use of violence without consideration of its likely results. Moreover, Sartre could not bring himself to condemn Baader’s methods in public. Rather than mourning the victims of the RAF, Sartre complained that Baader was being subjected to ”a torture that leads to psychological disturbance…”
Sartre’s legacy has proved a heavy burden for the European Left, which has never quite shaken its reputation for nihilism. It is a case study in the old conservative slogan that ideas have consequences. But serious conservatives should not make the mistake of assuming that Left alone is susceptible to the cult of violence. The same temptation lurks behind the veneration of soldiers, war, and toughness that deforms the contemporary American Right.
Of all of defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s “inquisitors” at yesterday’s Senate confirmation hearing, John B. Judis observes that Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire Republican, was “tough and fair” and well-mannered. I suppose this is superficially true. And yet I was utterly gobsmacked by the exchange.
Here’s a YouTube clip:
The infraction in question here is that Hagel, in a 2007 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “The core tenets of George Kennan’s ‘The Long Telegram’ and the strategy of containment remain relevant today. This is how we should have handled Saddam Hussein.” (I bolded the clause that Ayotte quoted, and presumably found damning.)
The speech in full (go ahead, read it!) should offend no one. It was a routine formulation of classical realist principles:
In the Middle East of the 21st Century, Iran will be a key center of gravity…and remain a significant regional power. The United States cannot change that reality. America’s strategic thinking and policies for the Middle East must acknowledge the role of Iran today and well into the future.
To acknowledge that reality in no way confuses Iran’s dangerous, destabilizing and threatening behavior in the region. Our differences with Iran are real. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and continues to provide material support to Hezbollah and Hamas. The President of Iran publicly threatens Israel’s existence and is attempting to develop the capacity to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has not helped stabilize the current chaos in Iraq and is responsible for weapons and explosives being used against U.S. military forces in Iraq.
Yet, America’s military might alone cannot successfully address these challenges or achieve any level of sustainable stability with Iran. The United States must employ a comprehensive strategy that uses all of its tools of influence within its foreign policy arsenal—political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, and military.
This is the way moderate Republicans and liberal internationalists talked about foreign policy challenges throughout the 1990s. It is the kind of rhetoric that President Clinton employed and, for the most part, the kind of rhetoric President Obama employs today. Now, it’s true, as was pointed out to Hagel ad infinitum yesterday, that the Obama administration does not profess a policy of containment toward Iran; it has vowed to prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
But Obama was not president in 2007. And Hagel, then still a senator, was free to ruminate on the “inventory,” as he put it yesterday, of options available to American diplomats and national security strategists.
“Was it that containment was one of the options?” Ayotte probed.
Hagel: “Yes, of course.”
This is damning?
Yes: Of course a strategy of containment is an option. So is an air attack or a land invasion tomorrow. Yet Ayotte strongly implied that the mere entertaining of the idea of containment was disqualifying. Containment ipso facto means appeasement, and to have said it’s worthy of consideration is a kind of thought crime. Consider: a member of the U.S. Senate, “the world’s most deliberative body,” thinks that it’s impermissible to actually deliberate foreign policy.
Add Ayotte’s exchange to Sen. John McCain’s confrontation with Hagel, in which McCain treated the arguable success of the Iraq surge as a priest would the historicity of the virgin birth, and we have the unmistakable voice of a school of foreign policy that operates more like an office of doctrinal enforcement.
These are dangerous people.
The Mali crisis and the al-Qaeda attack on the natural gas complex in the Sahara seem to have emerged out of the blue: who had thought about Mali in the months before reports of French paratroopers and Western hostages splashed over the front pages? Last week Steve Walt made some necessary points knocking down the notion that the United States has much in the way of vital interest in Mali, while noting that the supposedly “successful humanitarian intervention” in Libya may have opened the doors for increased al-Qaeda terrorism in North Africa by opening up Gaddafi’s arsenals.
I suspect Walt is right that the American interests at stake, when critically evaluated, are fairly minimal. I hope the Obama administration will perceive them that way, despite the inevitable pressures on the president to “do something.” It’s already pretty clear that Algeria, the country with the toughest military in the region, is not going to allow any sort of al-Qaeda sanctuary to develop in North Africa.
One more point: jihadist terrorism is a multinational phenomenon, and the reports are that the terrorist force which attacked the Algerian gas complex included men from Egypt, Tunisia, Mali, Canada (an immigrant, I would guess), Niger, Mauritania, and Mali. How the Algerians know this has not been specified.
But one further point, however obvious, should be made. Iran or Iranians, though the favorite whipping boy of the Capitol Hill War Party, play no part in these al-Qaeda actions. Shia Muslims are distinct from Sunnis, and al-Qaeda is an extremism emerging entirely from within Sunni Islam. In fact, though Iran has long been designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the State Department, its actual involvement in terrorism is characterized by relative caution and restraint. (One reason reports of the supposed Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador were so incredulously received.) After 9/11, Iranian cooperation in the American campaign to decimate al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was given freely and proved valuable (though Iran remained on the State Department’s terror list). Indeed, if the United States were to find itself once again seriously threatened by al-Qaeda terrorism, Iran is likely to be, once more, an important regional ally. Provided of course we haven’t taken the neoconservative counsel—unrelenting and continuous—to bomb the country. Then it won’t be.
The news that Obama will go ahead and nominate Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense is exciting beyond measure. No matter how the battle over his confirmation goes, it will be educational and point the country in a better direction. To have capitulated without a fight to Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin—the twin nerve-centers of the anti-Hagel opposition—would have signaled to the world a neutering of Obama’s presidency by the Israel lobby, a terrible result for the president and the country as a whole.
The campaign against Hagel has been loud, persistent, but devoid of serious substance. Hagel is said, according to one continually recycled smear, to be a sort of borderline anti-Semite; the chief bit of evidence for this damning charge being that, in discussing AIPAC’s influence on Capitol Hill, he used the phrase “Jewish lobby” instead of “Israel Lobby”. But while that phrase, the “Jewish lobby” does sound awkward now, it was the very one used by AIPAC to describe itself in the 1980s, the time period when Hagel was presumably first forming his vocabulary on these issues.
The charges of Hagelian insensitivity to gay rights, based on several of past votes and one 1990s comment, have largely evaporated. Hagel, like most of the country, has “evolved” on the issue. If the question comes up in the hearings, it will be as a coming out party for acceptance of the gay rights revolution by the Republican establishment. Those who have been involved in the struggle will cheer, as indeed will many who have done no more than observe, often skeptically, from the sidelines.
That many of the attacks on Hagel are either trivial or scurrilous does not mean the ideological questions raised by his nomination are trivial. They are not. The cleavages uncovered by the Hagel choice exist within both parties: there are Republicans who, after the fact, became skeptical about the Iraq war and the ideologists who fomented it, just as there are important Democrats, Chuck Schumer for instance, whose reflexive support of Israel will give him little enthusiasm for Obama’s selection. It is not yet clear how senators of either type will vote. But does anyone believe that GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell didn’t know that Chuck Hagel was an active Iraq war opponent, a skeptic about signing every AIPAC generated letter, and a general foe of the neoconservative foreign policy vision when he described Hagel in 2007 as “one of the premier foreign policy voices [and] one of the giants of the United States Senate” while adding, “Many of the predictions Chuck Hagel made about the [Iraq] war came true.”
Mitch McConnell on Sunday said that Hagel will receive “a fair hearing”—which is as much as he could say about any controversial nominee put forth by Obama. Of course some of the most hawkish Republicans—Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Texas Tea Partyite Ted Cruz—have already signaled their hostility. But in the lengthy sparring before the nomination, as Obama endlessly tested the waters, Hagel garnered an extraordinary amount of vocal, enthusiastic support from the foreign policy establishment, from former cabinet officers, diplomats, and military men. This outpouring was by no means preordained; in fact its emergence was the critical revelation of the last two weeks.
Sometimes some folks who are supporting the unspeakable do protest too much. I have previously reviewed for TAC the book by former CIA senior officer Jose Rodriguez that sought to justify the use of “hard measures” against terrorist suspects. More recently, I again revisited the subject when the United States Senate Intelligence Committee completed a secret report demonstrating that the use of torture by the CIA never produced any intelligence that was critical to the government efforts directed against terrorist groups or their leaders. Now comes the rebuttal. Rodriguez, who was a classmate of mine at CIA, has a featured op-ed in the Washington Post entitled “A CIA Veteran on what ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ gets wrong about the bin Laden manhunt.” The piece is co-authored by former CIA press spokesman Bill Harlow, who also helped Rodriguez with his book.
Rodriguez disagrees with the Senate report, arguing that torture (which he refuses to call torture) produced information that eventually led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. He also claims that the film’s depiction of the brutalization of detainees is fiction, that “no one was bloodied or beaten” while CIA officers had to “receive written authorization from Washington…to give a detainee a single open-fingered slap across the face.”
He repeats his belief that “enhanced interrogation” was not torture because a brace of compliant lawyers at the Justice Department said it was okay. CIA “did waterboard three of the worst terrorists on the planet…in an effort to get them to cooperate.” In a bit of chilling prose that might have been written under other circumstances in places like Nuremberg Rodriguez (or Harlow) describes the procedure “Instead of a large bucket, small plastic water bottles were used on the three men…the same tactic used without physical or psychological damage, on tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel as part of their training.” Khaled Sheik Mohamed, who was waterboarded 183 times, must have been delighted to learn that he was actually involved in U.S. Army basic training and that it wouldn’t hurt. As a personal note, I would point out that Rodriguez is not a veteran and may not be speaking authoritatively on the practice of waterboarding GIs. I went through basic training, admittedly many years ago, and no one tried to drown me. It is hard to imagine what waterboarding an Army trainee would seek to accomplish unless it serves as an admission that torture is now part of U.S. military doctrine.
I seem to recall that Rodriguez personally ordered the destruction of the 92 interrogation tapes involving harsh methods “to protect the interrogators,” a Orwellian claim if there ever was one and self-serving in that there survives no primary evidence to double check the claims that he and Harlow make. The destruction occurred in 2005 when Congress and the media were nosing around to learn details of the interrogation program and Rodriguez must have realized that what he had been approving was not exactly kosher. And CIA contractors regularly tortured “ghost” prisoners at Abu Ghraib who were not even entered in the prison records. They beat at least one man to death while another contractor killed an Afghan detainee in similar fashion, but I assume Rodriguez would claim that those deaths and others were not strictly speaking part of the “enhanced interrogation” program which he so carefully supervised. What hard guys like Rodriguez fail to see is that once one opens the door to gratuitous physical abuse of prisoners it is difficult to control what happens next. People are maimed and people die. Some of them are surely innocent. Does Rodriguez really believe that some heavy at a secret prison in Thailand or Poland might actually seek permission from Washington to slap a prisoner around? As Rodriguez’s one time boss at the Counter Terrorism Center Cofer Black once put it, after 9/11 the “gloves come off.” The gloves were indeed off and even if Black and Rodriguez will never pay any price for their calculated brutality it is the reputation of the United States that has suffered.
Senator Rand Paul is boasting about how he preserved the right of every American citizen to a trial by jury through an amendment that he cosponsored with Senators Mike Lee and Dianne Feinstein. His press release claims that he has protected “the rights prescribed to Americans in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution with regard to indefinite detention and the right to a trial by jury.” But check out Congressman Justin Amash’s more accurate assessment of what occurred: “The heart of the Feinstein amendment: ‘An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, UNLESS AN ACT OF CONGRESS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZES SUCH DETENTION.’ [Amash’s emphasis]. Well, that Act of Congress is the 2012 NDAA, which renders the rest of the Feinstein amendment meaningless.”
Amash is right and Paul is wrong. The Military Commissions Act and the 2012 NDAA are both acts of Congress that authorize the unlimited detention of American citizens and anyone else together with subsequent processing through military tribunals or no trial at all.
Curious op-ed piece in the Times today by Adam Lankford, an assistant professor from Alabama who claims that his examination of ”interviews, case studies and suicide notes” indicates that “rampage shooters” like Adam Lanza are “remarkably similar to aberrant mass killers–including suicide terrorists–in other countries.” He concludes that Lanza and the Virginia Tech and Columbine shooters–had they been born in Gaza and the West Bank and “shaped by terrorist organizations’ hateful propaganda”–would have become suicide bombers.
Really who knows. Lankford’s speculations contradict the far more systematic and detailed suicide terrorism study conducted by Robert Pape of the University of Chicago, which examined the case histories of 2200 instances of suicide terrorism and concluded that the overwhelming majority are in response to foreign military occupation. Pape and his co-author James Feldman demonstrated that suicide bombings were not particularly a Muslim phenomenon. Mental illness did not come up as an important causal factor.
One rampage shooting Adam Lankford failed to mention in his Times piece was that of Dr. Baruch Goldstein, the American born physician who perpetrated the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron in 1994, killing 29 Muslim worshippers and wouding 125. Goldstein’s massacre shattered the optimism surrounding the Oslo peace process and preceded by several years the wave of anti-Israeli suicide bombings orchestrated by Hamas. Israeli settlers in Jerusalem still sing songs eulogizing Dr. Goldstein.
One might have thought that since Goldstein was protected by the Israeli occupation forces and not subject to a foreign military occupation, he might be a good candidate for a theory linking mental illness and rampage shootings. But of course the Goldstein case wouldn’t fit easily into a narrative linking Adam Lanza to the “hateful propaganda” in Gaza and the West Bank.
Charles Krauthammer claims “the sword was lowered” on Gen. David Petraeus “on Election Day”: The Obama White House knew of the CIA director’s affair, and they’re using it to punish him for contradicting the administration line on Benghazi during testimony Sept. 14 before the House Intelligence Committee.
At Reason magazine, Judge Andrew Napolitano charges that the administration must have known about Petraeus’s 2010 affair when it offered him the CIA post, and implies that a conspiracy is ongoing:
In the modern era, office-holders with forgiving spouses simply do not resign from powerful jobs because of a temporary, non-criminal, consensual adult sexual liaison, as the history of the FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Clinton presidencies attest. So, why is Petraeus different? Someone wants to silence him.
This will very likely turn out to be the “all wet” reaction to the Petraeus saga.
Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman have a compelling insider account in the Wall Street Journal that paints a more complicated picture. There is a kernel of truth to Krauthammer’s assertion that Petraeus is being punished. But the punishment, in this case, appears passive-aggressive. The Obama administration didn’t so much punish the four-star general as it opted not to defend him.
And therein, perhaps, lies all the difference between a bureaucratic knife-fight and a full-blown political conspiracy.
According to the WSJ:
Administration officials respected Mr. Petraeus’s success in Iraq and Afghanistan, and President Barack Obama praised him in a news conference Wednesday for his “extraordinary career.” But he didn’t have a deep bench of backers within Mr. Obama’s powerful inner circle, current and former officials say.
Not being fully aligned with the administration is sometimes good for the head of an intelligence agency that prides itself on being apolitical, the former intelligence official said.
Some lawmakers and administration officials have questioned why Mr. Petraeus had to resign over an affair that apparently didn’t compromise national security. But throughout his tenure, Mr. Obama has shown little patience with aides who are at the center of what he sees as unwelcome media spectacles.
Making matters worse, Petraeus apparently made few friends within the CIA:
Mr. Petraeus had struggled to win over CIA employees, who initially viewed him with suspicion because he was a high-profile former general accustomed to the hierarchical respect conferred within the military. The CIA, by contrast, is a less hierarchical institution.
“That was a big change for him,” said Michael Hurley, a former agency officer. “Authority comes with rank in the military, but CIA directors have to earn the respect of agency officers.”
Agency officers saw his CIA office as much more regimented compared with the relative ease with which they could stop in to see top agency officials under Leon Panetta, Mr. Petraeus’s predecessor. Mr. Petraeus appeared to be surprised when much younger analysts would disagree with a point he made, a former official said.
Mr. Petraeus’s attempts to connect with agency officers over running—he extended an invitation to exercise with him as long as they could keep up with his six- to seven-minute miles—often fell flat as many analysts and operatives weren’t as athletic.
In the end, Petraeus was left to twist in the wind.
The Obama administration is enhancing the U.S. presence in Africa, which it is increasingly identifying as the new front in the war against Islamic militants. New drones for the CIA will be partially deployed in Afghanistan in an attempt to take up the slack as Western troop presence wanes over the next year, but most of the aircraft will be going to an existing facility in the Seychelles and to an airbase near Mombasa in Kenya that is being leased. The drones will be able to locate and hit targets in the south Sahara region that have been hitherto out of reach, including Mali. An upgrade in facilities in Ethiopia is also in the works to permit drone operations.
The CIA has also re-established a presence on the ground in Somalia, though it is highly unusual to have a Station in a country where the U.S. has no diplomatic representation. The Station is located in a red building near the Mogadishu airport and is well known to locals. I recently spoke to a foreign visitor who said that even cab drivers refer to the “CIA building.” Since the U.S. has no official presence in Somalia, the Station is actually run by a private contractor, also highly unusual by CIA norms. The building is surrounded by a fence and a wall and is further protected by African Union soldiers assigned to the airport as well as by local militiamen who serve as contract guards.