My take on Blackwater

October 8, 2007

Blackwater

Blackwater has been in recent news, after Iraqi officials complained that Blackwater personnel were involved in an unprovoked shooting of Iraqi civilians. If you don’t already know, Blackwater is a private company that supplies security personnel to guard American ambassadors in foreign countries. The Virginian Pilot has an interesting series on Blackwater titled Blackwater: Inside America’s Private Army.

Blackwater is owned by a single man named Erik Prince, a former navy seal. The corporate history of Blackwater is an amazing testimony on how successful private military has become these days. According to Fast Company, Blackwater has had 600% revenue growth between 2002 and 2005.

There is a lot of criticism – mostly of which are right on – against the mere existence of Blackwater. There is the lack of accountability, drain on the military talent, aiding political machiavellians in hiding the actual cost of war, the sheer immorality of going to war for monetary gain.

Now, the Congress has passed a bill to make companies like Blackwater answerable in the civil court. In my opinion, such actions and bills are somewhat useless, unless we stand up and face the real reason for the existence of such companies. Unless the US of A abandons its interventionist policies and stops meddling in the international affairs, companies like Blackwater will keep finding means to make profit. Even if Blackwater is brought back, what about the hundreds of other private corporations on which the US depends for war zone activities.

Although there are a lot of statistics with high shock-factor when it comes to Blackwater, there is one that stands in my memory. In the first Gulf War 15 years ago, the ratio of private contractors to troops was 1 to 60; in the current war, it’s 1 to 3. Go figure.

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One Response to “My take on Blackwater”


  1. […] I started watching the movie, I had already come to the conclusion that these companies cannot be obliterated in one fell sweep. This documentary only bolstered my […]


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