The British and French governments are voicing their complaints about the activities of Russian private military companies (PMCs) in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. In an utter display of hypocrisy, London and Paris are not as critical when their own PMCs, also known as “mercenaries,” are caught engaged in all sorts of skullduggery in various countries around the world.
Michael Ancram, the 13th Marquess of Lothian and a Conservative Party member of the House of Lords, recently requested the British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to provide him with details about the Russian military and mercenary presence in Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe. Ancram has a personal vested interest in the matter as the chairman of the consulting firm, Middle East Consultants International (MECI), which employs several former officials of the FCO and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). It is noteworthy that in light of Ancram’s angst about Russian mercenary forces being active in Africa that he is the descendant of Henry Kerr, the 9th Marquess of Lothian, who was active as a knight in the late 1880s of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, which, among other things, was active as a mercenary force to assist the Greek war of independence.
Ancram is also the past chairman of the shadowy group “Le Cercle,” which was established by French prime minister Antoine Pinay and French intelligence agent Jean Violet in the 1952 as “Cercle Pinay.” The group, which has included government and intelligence agency officials from 25 Western countries, meets twice a year in Washington, DC and is believed to receive its funding from the Central Intelligence Agency. In past years, members of “Le Cercle” have not been reticent to support the use of mercenaries, especially in former French, British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in Africa. However, these same intelligence “circles,” as exemplified by Ancram, now complain about the presence of Russian private military forces in Africa.
It is very interesting that Ancram, a former official of “Le Cercle,” with its French and British founding links, is complaining about Russian private military companies in Africa.
Stung by the past exploits of mercenary companies, the Western military-intelligence complex came up with the term “private military companies” to mask the true nature of these corporate brigands.