The Modern Samurai
A few hundred years ago in the western world there were those who chose to serve in the protection of their employers and they were called “Musketeers”. In the Far East, they were known as “Samurai”. No matter what they were called, all knew the definition of their profession and their duties: to keep their Patrons safe and secure wherever they went.
Many romantic stories and legends were told about these unique individuals and in most of these stories they were described as the bravest of warriors, heroes or supermen. This profession created an aura around those who chose to specialize and live by the rules of the field. It is one of the oldest professions in the world.
This sector gave society a few norms of behavior that gained high respect and honor from its communities.
In the 21st century, those who deal with the protection of their employers are called Bodyguards, Close Protection Operatives, and VIP/Executive Protection Specialists. More recently, they have been called PSD Operators and Personal Security Details/Detachments because of their deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan which have become known as the most dangerous areas for VIPs (not necessary heads of state). These specially trained and highly skilled personnel are hired to protect individuals or assets of organizations that operate in High-Risk environments like Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and South America.
The massive changes that globalization has brought to all areas of life has also created grave concerns for both personal safety and the protection of investments located in critical areas around the globe.
Security therefore, has taken the forefront in international, governmental and corporate strategies. A significant lack of sufficiently secure and safe conditions prevents and even jeopardizes economic developments, and nowadays even sports events carry the label “Mission Impossible”.
The need for qualified Protection Operatives capable of providing services related to the protection of assets (sensitive installations) and VIPs such as experts, engineers, journalists, UN employees and even cargo ship’s crews has increased tremendously.
Today, due to the high demand and need to privatize certain functions of government to the civilian workforce, this specialized field of protection services has become one of the fastest growing sectors. Countries, companies and organizations worldwide are currently reestablishing themselves in order to fill the void in the security field.
The Protection specialists who were sent to do these special jobs were sent by organizations that saw the need for such Protection specialists as a force multiplier for the protection of their assets in hostile environments. These special Protection operatives provide a great service to their countries by protecting national interests across the globe.
Governments send them for their convenience and cost effectiveness. But we don't want to officially acknowledge our desperate need for them. They fight alongside and in most cases even protect military personnel in these hostile zones.
So why do we not support them, respect their efforts, their great contribution to our society by providing a service to our countries that no one else will take responsibility to do? Instead of supporting them we call them “Soldiers of Fortune or Mercenaries” and any other name that we can think of without stopping to realize that they did not create or start the conflict. Instead, they are only there to help. Our elected officials are the people who started the conflict.
Do we dislike them now because they are paid for their services, perform everyday in environments that we only see in our worst nightmares, by showing us how cowardly we really are by not helping our own countries, or because we do not want to cope with very real knowledge that they get the job done even when the military can't?
Do we fear the trauma that many of them suffer just as military personnel do? Why do we fear them so?
We place them in a category that will calm our own fears without realizing that they have helped with that calming effect, yet they still have nightmares and fears well after they return from the violent abyss that we sent them to.
A prime example of such defamation of security contractors and protection specialists can be seen in the media, particularly in the recent movie “The A-Team” where protection operatives, clearly allegorical to a well known PMC, are portrayed as murderers and traitors to their country (performing acts such as killing US Generals). This is a ridiculous and damaging portrayal and it should not be allowed to happen even for mere entertainment purposes in a movie.
If you agree with this analysis please join our protest against this movie and against the media's negative portrayal of private security and close protection operatives in general who are putting their lives at risk for the well being of others.
This analysis was carried out by Mirza David, Founder and CEO of the International Security Academy - Israel, which operates practical training centers for improving and enhancing the mental and physical functions of Protection Management and Personnel worldwide and had the honor to train and enhance the skills of thousands of these protection operatives during the years 2004 - 2010.