AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

Blackwater, Part 2: How Did This Happen?

Since its inception the United States Military forces have historically used civilian personnel to perform some support functions. While some of these personnel have been trained and equipped to defend themselves at need, the use of civilian contractors to provide combat personnel outside the control of the military and/or government is a very recent development.

As recently as last month there were as many civilian support personnel in Iraq as there were military personnel – approximately 190,000 of each for a 1 to 1 ratio. This also occurred during the Balkan missions but not on such a large scale.

During the Korean War there was 1 civilian per every 2.5 military to provide support. During the Vietnam conflict the ratio was 1 civilian per every 5 military.

Record number of US contractors in Iraq

Up until the latest Iraq war these civilians provided support services and, except for a few that were hired to guard other civilians, were not expected to face combat situations on a regular basis and even the guards would not be expected to face the types of attacks that have been seen in Iraq.

Because of the limited number of ground combat forces available in the U.S. military the government could not afford to assign military personnel to perform protective functions for all of the non military functions taking place in Iraq, whether by government agencies or private companies that were hired to assist in the rebuilding efforts. This is where Blackwater and other private protective services companies became so involved.

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September 8, 2008 8:30 pm Posted by | National Security | , , , | 8 Comments

Blackwater, Part 1: An Army For Hire?

This may seem to be a strange post for a blog dedicated to illegal aliens and immigration reform, but consider this: if the governments and corporations involved in the North American Union have to depend on the official armed forces of their country to protect them, they cannot order them to protect private property or patrol borders to control entry of illegal people with complete disregard to the laws of the country in which they operate.

Officially, Blackwater International is a company that provides training, equipment and personnel to anyone, be it government or corporation, that is officially sanctioned by the U.S. State Department anywhere in the world. If you take a close look at their history and current contracts you will notice that while they started out mainly providing training they have expanded into an army for hire for anyone that can afford their price. It should be noted that Blackwater is not the only company that is operating this way, just the one with the highest profile due to several questionable incidences that have occured in Iraq. For a list of companies involved see here: PMCs

During their time in Iraq they have proven that they believe that they are above all laws as they have been hired to perform a mission of protection. They will perform this mission no matter what and do whatever they think they need to do to satisfy this mission.

Many of the personnel that Blackwater International have under contract are highly professional individuals with the best training and backgrounds. They should be – they were trained by the U.S. government either in the armed forces of the United States or in other government law enforcement agencies. Too bad these personnel cannot control the other people working with them.

Because these people are exempted from prosecution in Iraq due to Paul Bremmers decree, nothing will happen to those responsible for actions such as this. They are also under the protection of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

There are not enough U.S. Armed Forces personnel to meet the deployment requirements to both Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to all of its other commitments around the world. Blackwater International has been used by the U.S. State Department and other U.S. Government agencies to supplement the U.S. Armed Forces present in Iraq and Afghanistan. What a great opportunity for Blackwater!

Blackwater boasts that they have 14,000 people that they can contact to create a “protection force” at a moment’s notice. Some of these people are not U.S. nationals but personnel that were trained for other counties under contracts with Blackwater. If this isn’t an army for hire I don’t know what is.

Blackwater also appears to watch for opportunities to insert itself into activities within the United States. After hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast, Blackwater sent one of its helicopters into New Orleans on a “rescue mission” without invitation from the U.S. or local governments.

“According to Blackwater’s government contracts, obtained by The Nation, from September 8 to September 30, 2005, Blackwater was paid $409,000 for providing fourteen guards and four vehicles to “protect the temporary morgue in Baton Rouge, LA.” That contract kicked off a hurricane boon for Blackwater. From September to the end of December 2005, the government paid Blackwater at least $33.3 million–well surpassing the amount of Blackwater’s contract to guard Ambassador Paul Bremer when he was head of the US occupation of Iraq. And the company has likely raked in much more in the hurricane zone. Exactly how much is unclear, as attempts to get information on Blackwater’s current contracts in New Orleans have been unsuccessful.”

For a more complete story on Blackwaters activity in New Orleans see: The Nation: In the Black(water)

Unfortunately it appears that some of the Blackwater employees think that they can treat U.S. citizens the same way they have become acustom to treating the citizens they encounter in Iraq where they are not accountable to the local government: Blackwater Eyes Domestic Contracts in U.S.

It is said that because we cannot maintain a large standing military force with sufficient combat forces that we need to outsource certain activities to civilians. My question is, is it actually cheaper to have civilians performing these missions rather than recruiting and training militaty personnel who are accountable to the Code of Military Conduct? With Blackwater and other civilian personnel in Iraq earning up to $1000 a day, don’t you think this money would be better spent recruiting, training, and properly equiping additional personnel for the U.S. Armed Forces?

August 10, 2008 9:44 pm Posted by | National Security | , , | 24 Comments