I was reading an article about the continuing New Orleans aftermath, when I encountered this paragraph:
Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing “Blackwater” badges: “Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”
And it was then that I realised that I’ve been hearing about Blackwater and their activities far too much recently for me to be totally comfortable about it. Their Wikipedia article describes them as:
a private military company and security firm. Founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark, it is based in North Carolina. The company markets itself as being “The most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world”.
It seems their remit is wide and their operations diverse, from private security contracts, police training to operations in Iraq. It would seem that private military company is a non-too subtle way of saying “mercenaries”. Such companies have always existed, but it’s more concerning how often these people pop up in the employ of the US government.
And, as a final note, what exactly are “stability operations” and why do they sound suspiciously like the kind of stuff the CIA used to do to prop up regimes in the Developing World.