Friday, December 16, 2011

Blackwater Going Back To Iraq?

It was reported recently by Russia Today that the infamous private military company Blackwater may be returning to Iraq, but under the name Academi.

After the 2007 massacre that involved Blackwater employees gunning down Iraqi civilians, the company changed its name to Xe Services as to "[reflect] the company’s shift away from providing private security. " The company is now changing its name again to Academi in order "to reflect changes the company has undergone since a group of investors bought it in December 2010 from founder Erik Prince." (Prince himself is now busy raising a private army for the United Arab Emirates.)

This is not good for the Iraqis as private military firms are not necessarily legally responsible for their actions, sometimes to the point that 
Even if major crimes are done, the state cannot do anything as mercenaries enjoy significant protection. “In passing Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 of June 2003, the Iraqi provisional government granted exemption from prosecution to all personnel action on behalf of the coalition- including PMC employees.” This allows for PMCs to go about and do literally whatever they please, without fear of any consequences whatsoever and could potentially have the employees do things that they wouldn’t have done so before if they were under the law, like torturing and killing civilians for example.
While US troops are leaving Iraq, private military firms are coming in with between 4,500 and 5,000 people, about the size of an Army brigade.

In addition to this, while it has been reported that US troops are leaving Iraq, in reality that is a falsehood due to the fact that 
There are an estimated 400 arms deals between Baghdad and Washington, worth $10bn, with an additional 110 deals, worth $900m, reportedly pending. Many of these, as part of the deal, require US trainers, who would be working through the Office of Security Co-operation in the embassy. Bloomberg news reported that this "newly established office will have a core staff of 160 civilians and uniformed military alongside 750 civilian contractors overseeing Pentagon assistance programmes, including military training. (emphasis added)
Let's hope that they don't get back in.

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