American-Led Mercenary Army Hired by Arab Dictators

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Erik Prince
Having fled the United States, leaving behind a tainted corporate reputation and a trail of legal battles, the man who created the infamous Blackwater security firm has set up shop in the Persian Gulf region, where he’ll be helping Arab dictators hold onto power in the face of possible democratic uprisings.
Erik Prince, the ex-Navy Seal millionaire who founded Blackwater Worldwide, sold the company (which now goes by Xe Services) to establish Reflex Responses (aka R2) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With more than $500 million from the UAE, Prince has brought in mercenaries from Colombia, South Africa and other nations to forge an 800-member non-Muslim battalion for the emirates.
According to The New York Times, the private army will “conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts” similar to those that have sprung up in Yemen and Bahrain.
UAE leaders also see Prince’s armed force as a way to “blunt” any aggressive moves by Iran in the Persian Gulf.
Back in the U.S., four Blackwater employees continue to face criminal charges for their actions in Iraq when they killed 17 locals in 2007.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder (by Mark Mazetti and Emily Hager, New York Times)


Leave a comment