Blackwater mercenaries for UAE dictatorship

This video, recorded in the UAE, says about itself:

WAXWORD.COM – Footage from a visit by Sharon Waxman to a labor camp in Dubai.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Blackwater Founder Forms Secret Army for UAE

Sunday 15 May 2011

by: Mark Mazzetti and Emily B. Hager, The New York Times News Service

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand.

The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom.

Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African

South African veterans of the armed forces of the now defunct apartheid regime have been recruited as mercenaries for the US occupation of Iraq as well

and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.

In outsourcing critical parts of their defense to mercenaries — the soldiers of choice for medieval kings, Italian Renaissance dukes and African dictators — the Emiratis have begun a new era in the boom in wartime contracting that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And by relying on a force largely created by Americans, they have introduced a volatile element in an already combustible region where the United States is widely viewed with suspicion.

The United Arab Emirates — an autocracy with the sheen of a progressive, modern state — are closely allied with the United States, and American officials indicated that the battalion program had some support in Washington.

“The gulf countries, and the U.A.E. in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” said one Obama administration official who knew of the operation. “They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.”

Still, it is not clear whether the project has the United States’ official blessing. Legal experts and government officials said some of those involved with the battalion might be breaking federal laws that prohibit American citizens from training foreign troops if they did not secure a license from the State Department.

See also here.

Blackwater Founder Supplying Mercenaries for Gulf Regimes: here.

UAE planned to invade Qatar with Blackwater-linked mercenaries: Report. Plan aimed to overthrow Qatar emir, replace him with ruler subservient to Saudi-led bloc boycotting gas-rich state, ex-official says: here.

Erik Prince, You’re No Indiana Jones: here.

Official Blackwater Video Game Trailer: here.


20 thoughts on “Blackwater mercenaries for UAE dictatorship

  1. Ex-contractor to serve 3 years in Afghan’s death

    By BROCK VERGAKIS Associated Press

    Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.
    Last Modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.

    A former Blackwater contractor has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for the May 2009 shooting death of an unarmed Afghan civilian in Kabul.

    Christopher Drotleff was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in March. He and another convicted man shot at the rear of a vehicle on a dark road as it passed them near an accident, killing its passenger and a man who was walking his dog. They said they feared for their safety.

    Drotleff was sentenced in federal court in Norfolk on Tuesday for the passenger’s death. They were acquitted of all other charges. District Judge Robert Doumar said Drotleff is fortunate he had outstanding attorneys and the judge thought Drotleff wasn’t convicted of murder as a result.

    Drotleff remains free while his attorneys appeal.


  2. July 26. 2011 4:14AM

    Former Blackwater moves headquarters to Va.

    The Associated Press

    The global security company once known as Blackwater is moving its corporate headquarters from North Carolina to Arlington, Va.

    Xe Services said Tuesday that 20 people will move from Moyock, N.C. to Arlington to foster relationships with customers in and around Washington.

    While the company’s executive leadership will be based in Arlington, the 7,000-acre training facility in Moyock will also have an executive presence. Xe Services also has training facilities in Groton, Conn., and San Diego and a permanent 10-acre operating base in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Under the Blackwater name, the firm provided guards and services to the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It drew harsh criticism from members of Congress and others after a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that killed 17 people.


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