Category: Serviam

‘An ounce of prevention’ – Benjamin Franklin and private fire companies

by J Michael Waller, Serviam Out-of-control wildfires out West show the severe limits on government’s ability to protect society from one of nature’s weapons of mass destruction. Federal and state officials waited for more than a half-million acres to burn last June and July before calling the National Guard for help. With hundreds of homes destroyed among the billions of...

Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

by J Michael Waller, Serviam First Sergeant Roland Williston lay on a gurney in the 100-degree Virginia heat, with gangrene consuming the amputated stumps of his shattered left hand and leg. The 26-year-old barber from Holyoke, Mass., had been among the first volunteers to answer President Abraham Lincoln’s call to save the Union. Now, in the sweltering humidity of a...

Private ships of war

by J Michael Waller, Serviam Privately owned warships are so deeply at the heart of American maritime tradition that a reference to them is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. With their own contract crews who rushed to the fight for independence during the American Revolution and in defense of the nation during the War of 1812, the private warships successfully...

An officer and a businessman: Captain Parrott and his guns

by J Michael Waller, Serviam After a successful if rather uneventful career as a U.S. Army artillery officer, Capt. Robert Parker Parrott went into the private sector. That’s where his real contribution to American national defense began. Thanks to his West Point education and his 12 years as a commissioned officer, Parrott amassed immense knowledge of artillery and ordnance. Finally,...

The first Thanksgiving – Brought to you by a private military contractor

by J Michael Waller, Serviam magazine. When American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, private security and military contractors will have guarded the convoys bringing the turkey and gravy. If not for the private security contractor (PSC) business, there would have been no Thanksgiving at all. For it was a PSC whom the Pilgrims hired in...

Tom Barnett likes my work on stability operations

Bestselling author Thomas P. M. Barnett, best known for his book, The Pentagon’s New Map, praised an independent project of an IWP professor for publicizing private sector solutions to global stability problems. In a syndicated column for the Scripps Howard News Service, Barnett welcomed the “global stability industry” and hailed Serviam magazine, edited and co-founded by Professor J. Michael Waller, as a positive voice for the sector....

Public diplomacy: ‘Medicine is the universal language’

Public Diplomacy: ‘Medicine is the universal language’ Interview with the CEO of Project HOPE Serviam Publication Date: September-October 2008 Serviam’s person of the year, Project HOPE President and CEO John P. Howe III, MD, champions the military’s new humanitarian partnerships with businesses and charities, and comments on the role of health NGOs in global stability operations. Serviam Editor J. Michael Waller...

Partnership against heroin: Contractors help US combat narcotraffickers in Afghanistan

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, March-April 2008 Download PDF: Contractors_Afgh_Serviam Kabul, Afghanistan—“I used to wear a burqa. I will never wear one again. Except to fight drug traffickers.” That’s what a female police officer of Afghanistan’s Narcotics Interdiction Unit (NIU) says with a shy smile. The bad guys can’t recognize a heavily armed cop under the face-to-foot covering that all women...

Cultural battlespace: Muslim rockers resist extremism

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, January-February 2008 Serviam Al Qaeda has identified one type of enemy that it can’t fight against: Muslim rock stars. U.S. intelligence discovered evidence that the terrorist group had considered murdering top Egyptian performing artists for being “infidels” but decided against it for fear of creating a youth grassroots backlash from Arabs. That decision not to...