BLACKWATER the most powerful army of mercenaries in the world
the most powerful army of mercenaries in the world
Author: Jeremy Scahill
Publishing House: National Books, New York, 2007
In this book of over 400 pages, the author beneficiated by the contribution of several other journalists and important people from non-governmental organizations. Thus, the author succeeds to present not only the most important elements of Blackwater's establishment and their activities, but also a great deal of details that can help us form an opinion as close to reality as possible.
Started in 1996, when a private training range was opened in order to "anticipate any governmental requests of externalized training for firing guns and in security operations", Blackwater took full advantage of the events on September 11 and then of the American invasion in Iraq.
According to the author, Blackwater currently has over 2,300 troops deployed in nine countries worldwide, including in the United States. Over 21,000 former Special Forces members, other military forces, and police agents are included in the organization's data base and they are ready for deployment in the shortest time. The company owns a private fleet including over 20 fighter aircraft and helicopters, and electronic surveillance means. Moyock headquarters, in North Carolina, is considered to be the biggest private military base in the world. The company trains tens of thousands federal and local agents in USA, and also troops pertaining to some "friendly" nations. They have their own intelligence service, where important positions are occupied by experienced former intelligence officers. This is why Blackwater has governmental contracts of over 500 million dollars, and this sum does not include the secret contracts with the American intelligence services, or with other American and foreign private companies. According to some appreciations of a US congressman, in strictly military terms, Blackwater has the force to take away the power from many of the governments in the world.
Besides participating into various conflicts worldwide, Blackwater has operated on domestic level in the USA, especially after hurricane Katrina in New Orleans area, when the federal government paid 950 dollars per day for a private soldier. The company gained over 70 million dollars from that contract only. Several critics of the organization believe using it on domestic level constitutes a dangerous precedent, which can undercut American democracy. "Such paramilitary groups remind us of the Nazi Brown Shorts, since they operate as an extra-judicial mechanism, outside the law. Using such paramilitary groups is an extremely dangerous threat to our rights".
Blackwater is considered the Praetorian Guard for "the global war against terrorism", led by a single person, the conservatory Christian multimillionaire Eric Prince, who wishes to place his forces as a patriotic extension of the US army. In 2005, he issued a document asking all his employees and contractors to take a pledge where it was mentioned "to support and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, So help me God".
You can find other elements on Blackwater in Geostrategic Pulse No.18/05.12.2007.
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