Background & Analysis

Bancroft Global is a private military contractor that consists of two organizations, Bancroft Global Development & Bancroft Global Investments.  The business model for Bancroft Global is quite unorthodox for a Private Military Company, which may account for its remarkable track record.  Bancroft Global portrays itself as a low key humanitarian organization rather then the “corporate military” entity it is.  Bancroft Globals public relations strategy is intelligent. Bancroft Global is loosely based on the Stock family legacy of humanitarian and stabilization missions based in France and Belgium starting in 1914, long before there were international aid organizations & NGO institutions. Ancestors of Michael Stock demonstrated that extraordinary leadership can produce extraordinary results through private, & public sector partnerships.  Mr. Stock established his own legacy with Landmine Clearance International in 1999, a Non-Profit based in Virginia, after he graduated from Princeton University.  Landmine Clearance International was later re-branded Bancroft Global and headquartered in Washington D.C.  Mr. Stock took an intellectual two pronged approach to security and stabilization.  Bancroft Global Development would work in the defense and security sector as a non-profit and its sister company Bancroft Global Investments would build infrastructure in war torn areas for profit. Bancroft Global operations in Somalia specialize in recruiting, vetting & training of soldiers under contract with various governments and the United Nations.  Bancroft advise and assist contractors then conduct the training and mentoring of soldiers.  Unarmed Bancroft Advisors often embed with troops in the field as mentors and leaders.  Simultaneously Bancroft Global Investment utilize local knowledge & expertise to grow the local economy and infrastructure. Unstable regions cannot build modern infrastructure without indigenous security.   The Bancroft business models partner stabilization and security with infrastructure development. Bancroft Globals grassroots community based approach is modelled after Special Forces doctrine, working “by, with, and through” local security forces and community stakeholders.  Bancroft Global missions, while holding true to first world board room standards & ethics, is not without challenge.  Stock and the Bancroft group are immersed in dangerous and unstable regions of the world.  Out of necessity, Bancroft has hired African military advisors that have extensive documented histories of prolific mercenary activity. Mr. Stock admits to having to pay bribes to local politicians. Through no fault of Bancroft Global some of the projects it has mentored has indirectly lead to the employment of child soldiers.  Bancroft has briefly partnered with other private military corporations including Erik Prince and Blackwater.  Bancroft Global having few options for qualified human resources has retained African military consultants with mercenary backgrounds. Bancroft advisors are known to have embedded with troops in the field, and are rumored to have engaged heavily in battlefield combat and conducted prolific de facto sniper missions.  Objectively speaking the task of countering the Islamic State and Al-Shabab in Somalia is a difficult and dirty task for any private military company, including Bancroft Global.  What seems to work for Bancroft Global is the innate ability to immerse into the local culture and invest in strong relationships and business partnerships.  This strong leadership philosophy allows local people and community leaders to buy into the projects Bancroft is executing.   Bancroft Global remarkably seems to manage the complex task of security and investment fairly and ethically.  The Bancroft Global business model while not perfect does appear to provide highly successful outputs which are tangible in the local community.  This approach is something both professional militaries and private contractors should endeavor to emulate when planning and directing operations abroad where strong grassroots partnerships are required within the community.


What is Bancroft Global Development?

  • Bancroft Global Development was formerly known as Landmine Clearance International
  • Bancroft Globals mission statement is to; “rehabilitate populated areas in the aftermath of armed conflict through land-mine clearance and explosive ordnance disposal” (War is Boring, 2013)
  • In 2007 Landmine Clearance International changed its name to Bancroft Global Development and the new Bancroft Global Development headquarters is in a $4-million mansion on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C
  • According to the website Great Non Profits, the Bancroft Mission is, Education and capacity building to promote permanent solutions to the economic, environmental, and societal harm caused by armed conflict (Great Non Profits, 2020)
  • Bancroft’s objectives often require demilitarizing civilian society as a necessary precondition to capacity-building initiatives
  • Bancroft pursues multifaceted approaches to removing military or improvised weapons from civilian populations and reducing the influence of non-official armed groups while building the ability of local institutions to provide effective governance and deliver critical social services. This combination is necessary to achieve meaningful stabilization and economic growth (Bancroft Global, 2020)


Financials for Bancroft Global Development [From the Website Cause IQ, 2020]

Cause IQ describes Bancroft Global as a Not-For-Profit NGO (Non Governmental Organization)

  • Bancroft Global Development is a world peace organization based in Washington, DC that was founded in 1999. As of 2019 they had $29 million in revenue and $5.2 million in assets
  • Bancroft Global Development is a multinational, not-for-profit non government organization that implements stabilization initiatives in conflict zones
  • Complete Financial Breakdown Reports can be found at,,541955545/


Grants, Contributions, Revenues

Field 2018 2017 % Change
Total grants, contributions, etc. $29,330,185 $19,866,569 47.6%
Program services $0 $0
Investment income and dividends $2,990 $1,270 135.4%
Tax-exempt bond proceeds $0 $0
Royalty revenue $0 $0
Net rental income $0 $0
Net gain from sale of non-inventory assets $0 $0
Net income from fundraising events $0 $0
Net income from gaming activities $0 $0
Net income from sales of inventory $0 $0
Miscellaneous revenues $305,079 $0 999%
Total revenues $29,638,254 $19,867,839 49.2%


What is Bancroft Global Investments?

  • Bancroft Global Investments makes speculative allocations of capital, in opportunities that emerge as a consequence of Bancroft Global Development’s success in creating a more stable environment that would otherwise remain nonviable or disconnected from global markets
  • Investments focus on fundamental infrastructure, which in conflict zones often means leap-frogging older technologies or business models, moving directly to twenty-first century innovations. Common themes among investments include real property development coupled with hydroelectric and solar power, wireless telecommunications, virtual banking, and modern freight transport (Bancroft Global, 2020)


History Brief Bancroft Global

  • Bancroft’s roots extend back over a century, notably to relief in Belgium and France during World War I
  • In an unmatched humanitarian and stabilization achievement, a small number of determined entrepreneurs helped to save tens of millions of lives and set the conditions for reconstruction of Europe through humanitarian aid, technical advice, and connectivity to global finance
  • Before the birth of the myriad public and NGO institutions dedicated to development, forebears of Bancroft’s present leadership demonstrated how extraordinary results can be achieved by the private sector and true public-private partnerships, when calibrated to the resources and economic potential of all involved parties. The countries that benefited from the model originated by Bancroft’s predecessors are among the most stable and prosperous today (Bancroft Global, 2020)


Time Lines

1914 – 1917

  • Partners from Kuhn, Loeb & Co. provide substantial private funding to the Committee for Relief of Belgium (CRB) during World War I. Post-war accounts showed residents in some areas of Belgium achieved better development outcomes from CRB services than under their own government prior to the war


1917 – 1919

  • Future Kuhn, Loeb & Co. Partner, Lewis L. Strauss, leads the American Relief Administration (ARA), a successor organization modeled on, and eventually absorbing, the CRB. The ARA ultimately supported more than 15 million people in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain with food, medical services and other support



  • The European Recovery Plan, commonly known as the Marshall Plan, spurs the recovery of Western Europe following World War II. Distributing approximately $13 billion in financial assistance over four years, and enlisting a “business enterprise” led by men with “particularly persuasive economic credentials” to provide needed technical acumen, the Marshall Plan engendered the highest rate of economic growth in European history


1950s – 1980s

  • The Kuhn, Loeb-pioneered development and finance model fades as Bretton Woods Institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund), governments, and the United Nations come to dominate international financial affairs and a new Wall Street culture rejects long-term partnerships. Following Kuhn, Loeb’s merger with Lehman Brothers in 1977 the business model falls out of practice until modernized and revived by Bancroft more than 20 years later



  • Bancroft is launched, originally under the name Landmine Clearance International, dedicated to humanitarian de-mining and unexploded ordnance removal. Over the next 15 years, Bancroft carefully crafts its approach to incorporate the lessons, and produce the results, demonstrated by the ARA and Kuhn, Loeb’s interventions (Bancroft Global, 2020)



Bancroft A Different Kind of Business Model

  • American security firms like Blackwater have made hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years protecting U.S. diplomats and other personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hot spots. Bancroft, a much smaller company, has a very different business model. Its personnel don’t travel through cities like Baghdad armed to the teeth with military-grade weaponry. Instead, most of its employees, are unarmed, an approach in sharp contrast with for-profit security firms, some of whom — the most notorious being Blackwater — made enemies of Iraqi civilians and U.S. military personnel alike with what many perceived as their bullying, shoot-first mindset (Foreign Policy, 2015)
  • The company also has a highly unusual business model. In reality, it’s two firms. Bancroft Global Development is a non-profit that seeks to stabilize a region by using the classic Special Forces approach of working “by, with, and through” local security forces, which in Somalia means advising the African peacekeepers there, as well as the Somali national police (Foreign Policy, 2015)
  • Bancroft owes its approach in part to the traditional Special Forces missions of foreign internal defense, which focuses on teaching host nation forces how to defeat insurgencies, and irregular warfare, which involves helping guerrillas overthrow a hostile government
  • A former Army Green Beret officer experienced with stability operations said that an arrangement with Bancroft, a non-profit connected to an investment firm was “strange”
  • “I’ve never seen a non-profit conduct foreign internal defense before,” he said. “You don’t need to be an expert for this raises eyebrows” (Military Times, 2019)


Bancroft Global Revenue Model

  • Bancroft’s website lists 26 countries in which it has operated, but the firm is best known for its work in Somalia, where it now does about 75 percent of its business and where Bancroft Global Development, its non-profit wing, earned about $35 million over the past two years. Meanwhile, Bancroft Global Investments “has invested about $40 million in Somalia and has generated returns that adequately compensate for the risk factor,” said Marc Frey, executive director of Bancroft Global Development (Foreign Policy, 2015)
  • Bancroft Global Investments, a for-profit company that seeks literally to capitalize on that success by investing in the newly pacified countries and regions (Foreign Policy, 2015)


Who is Behind Bancroft Global?

  • Michael Stock-is the heir to a family fortune made in banking
  • In 1999, shortly after graduating from Princeton, he used a portion of that fortune to found, in Virginia, a non-profit organization called Landmine Clearance International (War is Boring, 2013)


Where is Bancroft Global Operating?

  • Bancroft corporate headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
  • Bancroft has a presence in Afghanistan, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates (Bancroft Global, 2020)


Who Are Bancroft Global Employees?

  • On the operational side of things Bancroft global is staffed by; Former French, Scandinavian and South African soldiers (Wired, 2011)
  • The South African soldiers have experienced working, training, mentoring and fighting in Africa and therefore are the lead choice for Bancroft in Africa missions



What Entities Have Engaged Bancroft Global?

  • The African Union & the AMISOM Mission, which is the U.S. governments out-sourced war in Somalia (NY Times, 2011) (Wired, 2011)
  • Uganda and Burundi have paid Bancroft $7 million since 2010 for counter-insurgency training; Washington refunds the two African countries for their training expenses (Wired, 2011)
  • The African Union-AMISOM mission, is a 7,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia
  • With American money AMISOM hired Bancroft to provide training for peacekeepers
  • Some say American money paying for AMISON is the U.S. Governments way of out sourcing war in Somalia




What Services Does Bancroft Global Offer?


  • In Somalia, Bancroft contractors do a basic assessing of Danab recruits, checking their physical fitness as well as their political and socioeconomic background, clan, sub-clan affiliations, contractors gather biometric data off recruits, which is processed by U.S. government channels to ensure past human rights violators are not recruited
  • Bancroft then puts the recruits through a basic training program. The U.S. mission does not provide basic training to regular Somali soldiers, only those who will become Danab
  • After basic training, those troops are sent to U.S. military advisers, where they’re further honed into offensive forces. Regular Somali soldiers are often used to hold ground that U.S. and Danab troops win back from al-Shabab (Military Times, 2019)


About Danab-Somalia’s Danab Advanced Infantry Brigade, or lightning force

  • “Currently, the recruitment and basic training for the Danab Brigade is provided through a Department of State administered cooperative agreement with Bancroft Global Development,” a State Department official said on background. “This training prepares the forces for follow-on training and mentorship provided by U.S. military forces” (Military Times, 2019)
  • Danab started out as a 150-person unit roughly five years ago, but has since grown to become one of Somalia’s most-used military assets
  • Ultimately, the Danab brigade will consist of 3,000 member forces across each of the six Somali National Army sectors. The unit will report to a brigade headquarters at Baledogle Airfield — a former Soviet air base in southern Somalia with a significant U.S. air and ground presence.
  • The new Danab forces are recruited and trained with tribal and clan considerations in mind, according to Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, AFRICOM commander (Military Times, 2019)



Counter-Insurgency Training & Peacekeeper training

  • Referencing the Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, Bancroft has “turned a bush army into an urban fighting force” (Wired, 2011)


Peacekeeper training in close combat and explosive ordinance disposal

  • Bancroft has trained the 9,000-strong, U.S.-funded Ugandan and Burundian peacekeeping force that doubles as the heavy army of the Somali Transitional Federal Government in its long war with the al-Shabab Islamic terror group


Bomb Disposal Expertise

  • Bomb disposal
  • Bancroft Global efforts have drastically reduced the number of African Union troops lost to roadside explosives
  • The Associated Press credits Rouget and Bancroft trained bomb disposal experts for saving African Union lives from improvised explosive devices (Wired, 2011)
  • Bancroft educational programs that began in 2009, has improved the capacity of seven east African countries to predict, prevent, avoid, detect, and mitigate danger from improvised explosive devices (Great Non Profits, 2020)


Counter Irregular Warfare

  • Bancroft’s 75 or 80 mentors from about 20 different countries focus on training the Somali and peacekeeping personnel on mine-clearing, other forms of explosive ordnance disposal, and what Bancroft  described as “counter-irregular warfare,” which includes instruction on how to defeat snipers, detect ambushes, and evade enemy surveillance (Foreign Policy, 2015)


Infrastructure and Facilities

  • According to war correspondent Robert Young Pelton; Bancroft set up facilities at the African Union, controlled seaport-and-airport complex in Mogadishu
  • Bancroft facilities include rooms for rent for $155 a night plus a bar popular with military advisers, journalists and visiting government officials (War is Boring, 2013)
  • Bancroft Global Investments has made entrepreneurial investments in Somalia, becoming one of the country’s largest real estate investors and developers


Health Care & Veterinary Services

  • Bancroft Global Development also provides a range of public health, epidemiology, trauma medicine, and veterinarian services, Bancroft funds and oversees a number of mobile medical clinics throughout the country (Bancroft Global, 2020)



Bancroft Global & Successful Humanitarian Outputs

Caveat-The information contained in this section is entirely from the website Great Non Profits, and the data for successful outputs is not something that De Faakto analysis can corroborate and therefore while this information may be accurate; it should be considered an analysis gap


  • With regards to Bancroft education programs on how to counter and dispose of Improvised Explosive Devices, the primary beneficiaries are security sector personnel and the secondary beneficiaries are at-risk civilians, including women and children. During 2017, these programs enabled delivery of humanitarian aid to more people who had previously lacked access to food, health care, and justice institutions (Great Non Profits, 2020)
  • Bancroft medical education and medical programs, also supported the Aeromedical evacuation of more than 600 soldiers and civilians; direct medical care for more than 1300 civilians; and training to more than 1100 medical personnel  (Great Non Profits, 2020)
  • Bancroft education accomplishments centered on building responsible and professional Somali institutions, which respect human rights, engage constructively with local communities, including medical outreach
  • Enhancement of Bancroft  programs started during 2008, with specific achievements in 2017 to include:- destroying landmines and unexploded ordnance- delivering of health services ranging from preventive care to trauma surgery for civilians and military personnel suffering from a quarter-century of irregular warfare, and the resulting total collapse of the public health infrastructure- performing hundreds of cleft palate procedures on Somali civilians- exploring and identifying additional conflict areas appropriate for the organization’s mission (Great Non Profits, 2020)



Where Does Bancroft Global Operate?

  • Bancroft personnel have conducted and overseen development and investment programs in austere and high risk environments in more than two dozen countries
  • Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Burma, Burundi, Chad, Columbia, Croatia, Egypt, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Peru, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Uganda, Western Sahara and Yemen (Bancroft Global, 2020)



Mogadishu, Somalia

  • The African Union-AMISOM mission in Somalia
  • Uganda (Bancroft trains soldiers from Uganda to work in Somalia)
  • Burundi (Bancroft trains soldiers from Burundi to work in Somalia) (Global Policy, 2012)



Is Bancroft Global an Ethical Operator?

  • Bancroft doesn’t employ mercenaries, company founder Michael Stock told The New York Times. “Mercenary activity is antithetical to the fundamental purposes for which Bancroft exists,” Stock said, adding that the company “does not engage in covert, clandestine or otherwise secret activities (Wired, 2011)
  • According to Bancroft founder Michael Stock “You better know the rules,” After 17 years of war, those Somali bureaucrats who had survived were a hard and dangerous bunch. There were negotiations, mountains of paperwork, and not a few bribes to be proffered (Wired, 2011)



Bancroft Global is offered Anti-Piracy contract and turns it down in 2012

  • The Puntland Maritime Police Force, is a counter piracy force developed by the Puntland government out of necessity to enforce Somali anti-piracy laws
  • The Force is supported by United Arab Emirates
  • The UN Mercenary Working Group has questioned the Puntland Maritime Police Force as illegal and having no accountability except to the President of Puntland for internal operations
  • Saracen and Stirling International initially is engaged to train the Maritime Police Force, but the contract is terminated because the Private Military Contractors have broken UN arms embargoes in Somalia
  • Saracen and Stirling are also believed to have mounted other security missions not related to Maritime Policing
  • Michael Stock, Bancroft’s president sent a team to assess the Puntland Force left behind by Saracen and Stirling
  • Bancroft analysts found 500 soldiers wandering around the Puntland Maritime Police Force compounds
  • The soldiers had not been paid for weeks
  • A stock pile of weapons and ammunition that was supplied to the force over a two year period was at the disposal of unpaid troops
  • Bancroft assessed and reported to the UN that Puntland Maritime Soldiers posed a regional security risk because Stirling left behind an unpaid but well armed security force with helicopters and fixed wing aircraft (Strategic Intelligence, 2018)
  • Initially Erik Prince of Blackwater PMC and South African Special Forces soldier Lafras Luitingh, formerly of Executive Outcomes PMC, are contracted to play a role in the Bancroft initiative with Puntland Maritime Police Force
  • Mr. Stock declined to take over the PMC counter piracy contract that Stirling had left behind (Strategic Intelligence, 2018) (Global Policy Forum, 2020) (New York Times, 2011)
  • The Japanese Coast Guard would eventually take over the Puntland Maritime Police training as Stirling and Saracen were no longer under contract


Bancroft Global Development Consultant Richard Rouget

  • Richard Rouget, alias “Colonel Sanders,” works for Bancroft Global Development, a Washington, D.C.-based “private security company” that maintains an approximately 40-man team of self-described “mentors” in Mogadishu, Somalia’s embattled capital city (Wired, 2011) (NY Times, 2011)
  • According to the New York Times’ ace Africa reporter Jeffrey Gettleman, Richard Rouget is a French born mercenary with a criminal record, associated with several African coups and at least one murder
  • In 2007 or 2008 Rouget signs on with Bancroft and reports to Mogadishu
  • Rouget is assigned to teach Ugandan troops, long experienced in forest fighting, how to do battle door to door, building to building fighting in urban warfare (War is Boring, 2013)
  • Mr. Stock, Bancroft’s president, flatly rejects the idea that his employees are mercenaries, insisting that the trainers do not participate in direct combat with Shabab fighters and are supported by legitimate governments
  • “Mercenary activity is antithetical to the fundamental purposes for which Bancroft exists,” he said, adding that the company “does not engage in covert, clandestine or otherwise secret activities.”
  • He did say, though, that there is only a small pool of people Bancroft can hire who have experience fighting in African wars.
  • Mr. Stock, Bancroft’s president, said that bickering in Washington about how to contain the Shabab threat had made the American government even more dependent on companies like his


Rougets Resume

  • Rouget leaves the French army in the early 1980s
  • In 1985 starts his mercenary career after joining the “presidential guard” of the Comoros, a tiny island-group nation in the Indian Ocean (Wired, 2011)
  • The presidential guard is the personal army of Bob Denard, a notorious French mercenary and agent of French colonialism in Africa
  • According to the Associated Press, Rouget is Denard’s “right-hand man”
  • Denard backs at least four coups in Comoros over 20 years
  • In 1980 Denard living in Comoros began working for the South African apartheid government in its campaign against Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress
  • Denard and Rouget have both been mentioned in connection with the 1988 murders of ANC officials Godfrey Motsepe and Dulcie September – but never charged because of weak evidence
  • In 2003 Rouget is convicted of recruiting mercenaries to fight in the Ivory Coast of West Africa, by a South African court


Mission Success, Bancroft, the U.S. Government and Mercenaries like Rouget

  • In five years of hard combat, the Ugandans and their allies, funded by the U.S. and trained by men like Rouget, steadily pushed back Islamic militants, gradually restoring an internationally-backed regime to Somalia after more than two decades of bloody warfare
  • It was one of the first widely-sanctioned modern wars led, and in large part won, by mercenaries. The guns-for-hire helped Washington to keep its distance from Somalia and still wage war there (War is Boring, 2013)
  • Military advisors say Bancroft International assistance has helped “turn a bush army into an urban fighting force, and is partly responsible for the transitional government’s big advances in Mogadishu and across Somalia (Wired, 2011)
  • But the battlefield success comes at the cost of American moral credibility. First, there were reports that the U.S.-backed transitional Somali government employs child soldiers as young as 12. And now America has endorsed, however indirectly, a man (Rouget) who for years has allegedly fought against stability, justice and self-governance in Africa (Wired, 2011)
  • Mr. Stock, Bancroft’s president, also flatly rejects the idea that his employees are mercenaries
  • insisting that the trainers do not participate in direct combat with Shabab fighters and are supported by legitimate governments (Foreign Policy, 2015)



Exclusive: U.S. Operates Drones From Secret Bases in Somalia-Foreign Policy- TY MCCORMICK (2015)

US troops, nonprofit trainers and a ‘Lightning Brigade’ battle for Somalia-Military Times- Kyle Rempfer (2019)

Lightning brigade: Training advanced infantry — not airstrikes — is AFRICOM’s primary effort in Somalia-Military Times- Kyle Rempfer (2019)

U.S. Relies on Contractors in Somalia Conflict-The New York Times- Jeffrey Gettleman, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt (2011)

One Man Private Army-War is Boring-David Axe (2013)

U.S. Hires Shady Mercenary for Somali Proxy War-Wired-David Axe (2011)

Profit and Loss in Somalia-Foreign Policy- SEÁN D. NAYLOR-(2015)

Bancroft Suffers Troop Loss In Somalia After Al-Shabab Terror Attack-Intelligence Briefs-Strategic Intelligence-David Goldman (2018)

History of Bancroft-Bancroft Global-No Author Noted (2020)

Private Army Formed to Fight Somali Pirates Leaves Troubled Legacy-Global Policy-Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt New York Times (2012)

Bancroft Global Development-Cause IQ- No Author Noted (2020),541955545/

Bancroft Global Development-Bloomberg-No Author Noted (2020)

Bancroft Global Development-Business & Human Rights Center-No Author Noted (2020)

Bancroft Global Development-Great Non-profits-No Author Noted (2020)

A Bet on Peace for War-Torn Somalia-The Wall Street Journal- Christopher S. Stewart (2013)

Industry Talk: A Bancroft Global Interview And Their First KIA In Somalia-Feral Jundi-No Author Noted (2020)

Bancroft Global Development investment in Mogadishu-YouTube (2020)

[Photo] Lightning brigade: Training advanced infantry — not airstrikes — is AFRICOM’s primary effort in Somalia-Military Times- Kyle Rempfer (2019)

[Photo] Screenshot-YouTube-Wall Street Journal Live-Christopher S. Stewart (2017)

[Photo] US troops, nonprofit trainers and a ‘Lightning Brigade’ battle for Somalia-Military Times-Kyle Rempfer (2019)