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Friday, May 30, 2008

Blackwater: Good or Bad?

CNN recently reported, Iraqis testify in Blackwater grand jury probe.

Blackwater has been abused and perhaps, misunderstood by the general public and the media. They have been labeled mercenaries, and accused of doing the government's dirty work. While this may be true, I have found the ideas fostered by Blackwater to be a fascinating story of entrepreneurship, and an excellent example of a true militia.

Erik Prince, the CEO and founder of Blackwater, has a strong Christian heritage. Although he is now a Catholic, he is a descendant of Dutch protestants. His father, Edgar Prince, raised Erik with a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial mindset. A good friend and supporter of Dr. James Dobson, Erik has proven to be a thorough conservative.

Blackwater began as a small company that manufactured targets. Prince had a long-term vision for expanding it into the security/soldier of fortune company it is today. The company began doing security work for various government officials after 9/11.

Photo courtesy of Jacob Silberberg / AP file

Today, contractors like Blackwater supply one in four of the soldiers on the ground, from Afghanistan to Iraq.
Photo courtesy of Time

Since it is not a government agency, Blackwater is not bound by government contracts with weapons and technology suppliers. Because of this, Blackwater can use the latest/greatest weapons (pretty cool stuff!) and equipment. Also, it appears to me that they do not employ women.

Blackwater's rise to power has raised some interesting discussion recently, especially by people who are afraid that there is a threat that Blackwater can take over the US government, (there's a novel idea!). But when we look at the Constitution, we find that Blackwater should actually be the norm, and not the exception. The Second Ammendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The word "militia" defined as: civilians trained as soldiers but no part of the regular army. Unfortunately, the State Department has promised Blackwater immunity, from Iraqi law, in a recent case where some contractors shot civilians (not very "well regulated").

So my opinion? Blackwater is a great idea gone bad. Those are my thoughts, what are yours?


Author's note: The best book I have read on this subject is Blackwater: the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army, by Jeremy Scahill. Although Mr. Scahill is not a Christian, it is a very well researched book.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Hmm, you know more about them than I do!

Ever read Soldier of Fortune magazine?

June 6, 2008 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

I don't read SOF on a regular basis, actually the only article I've read to completion is the one they did on the AA-12 (my favorite shotgun, btw)

Thanks for the comment!

June 6, 2008 at 8:42 PM  

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