Blackwater sets up mercenary army in the UAE

Reflexive Fire is due out sooner rather than later.  As many of you know my novel is about former US Special Forces soldiers setting up a mercenary army in Kazakhstan, using so-called Third Country Nationals (TCNs) as infantry troops.  These mercenaries are than deployed with their American, British, French, and South African advisers to fight dirty little wars around the globe.

A fanciful work of fiction?

NY Times: Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder

We all know that Blackwater founder Erik Prince fled to the UAE to avoid the increasing legal trouble he was in, not to mention scrutiny from the media.  Today, the NY Times is reporting that Prince has been hired by the UAE to set up a commando force consisting of Colombian and other foreign troops at a secret training center out in the desert.  The foreign veterans of South American conflicts were apparently recruited through Thor Global Enterprises, an offshore outfit based on the island of Tortola.

The article also states that Prince feels that Muslims can’t be relied on to kill Muslims, hence the use of TCNs.  That statement is so shallowly superficial that I wonder if this quote can really be attributed to him.  Like him or hate him, I don’t think Prince is an idiot and a statement like this shows a profound misunderstanding of the region.

Apparently, Thor’s quality control blows because they mostly sent a bunch of kids to the UAE, some of whom had never fired a gun before.  The trainers were so disappointed that they than realized that they would have to change roles from mere advisers to being combat leadership, de facto Green Berets.  Between this and the drug use among the recruits, the article states that a shock unit was put together to compensate, consisting of South Africans, some allegedly being former Executive Outcomes men, the mercenaries who fought against the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone back in the 90’s.

This is also where the reporting gets sloppy, based on my research, and may call into question some of the other allegations made.

“To bolster the force, R2 recruited a platoon of South African mercenaries, including some veterans of Executive Outcomes, a South African company notorious for staging coup attempts or suppressing rebellions against African strongmen in the 1990s.”

EO fought for the democratically elected government of Angola and against the RUF butchers so I would like to see the reporter elaborate on this claim.  What coup did EO participate in?  News to me.

I think, that to keep all this on context, we have to also remember that very few Private Military Companies (PMCs) are actually private.  Most operate with the approval of the State Department and Central Intelligence.  We should also keep in mind that the New York Times has been a useful tool to certain elements on the intelligence community stretching back to the Vietnam War.  I’m not saying we need to get our tin foil hats on, but please take these statement into your analysis.

Overall, even I am shocked at how similar this operation is to the one I first wrote about in my novel almost a year ago.  How was I able to extrapolate the future use of TCNs and the off shoring of mercenary operations in this manner?  Simple.  Its what I would have done.

*Update 1

BW/UAE contract

I’ve been browsing through it for some tidbits.

Basic duties and responsibilities.

The formation of a Light Infantry Battalion

Special Teams and attachments

The fact that the UAE wants to bring in foreign troops is telling.  The contract calls for the creation of a Light Infantry Battalion with all the necessary attachments for fighting a modern counter insurgency, including intelligence assets and enablers for Direct Action (DA) operations.  It could be that the UAE is bracing themselves for the “Arab Spring” that has been tearing across the Middle East since Tunisia fell apart.


Filed under News, Special Forces, Weapons and Tactics

8 responses to “Blackwater sets up mercenary army in the UAE

  1. Eeben Barlow

    Thanks for coming up for EO Jack. I too wait with bated breath for them to elaborate on their comments.



  2. I hope you are able to force a retraction Eeben, I just wonder if it would be worth your time. I admire your dedication to the good name of your (former) company, but as you say, repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth.

  3. Gary Hart

    I don’t know if you are aware or not, but I can see that Erik has re-opened his recruiting offices in South America, not newly opened them. Ground security for Blackwater’s ‘campus’ in Baghdad, as well as for LZ Washington and the Embassy when it was at the ‘palace’ was all carried out by South Americans. I don’t know about the one’s he has hired now, but the ones then were well trained and quite, um, ‘economical’ when compared to American or European recruits.

  4. Good point Gary, TCNs are more economical and it doesn’t cause as much of a stir if they are burned alive and hung from a bridge. I’m not saying I agree with that point of view or see them as being expendable, but in the realm of public opinion things are different. The only thing I recall off the top of my head about BW in South America was Prince trying to use a old CIA base in Argentina to train TCNs…if I remember right.

    Regarding the Colombians, I’ve talked to buddies who had extensive experience down there. They had mixed reports. Apparently the LRS/Rangers see all the action and the CT units (trained by our own military CT teams) barely do anything.

  5. I saw this headline when I was out getting coffee this morning, and the first thing that came to mind was “I need to hit JM up in the next day or two and see what he thinks of his plot being commandeered.”

    First “Seal Team 6” is trademarked by Disney, and now this. I need to scratch up some investors and trademark “Delta Force” before I miss out on all the fun…

  6. That is part of the reason why I started writing. I’d get pissed off when someone else used an idea that I already had!

  7. Russ Wellen

    It would be a much simpler world if Muslims were reluctant to kill Muslims.

    Russ Wellen
    Editor, FPIF Focal Points

  8. I’m afraid that would just further unite them against the Jews and the Christians, politically speaking anyway. There is a lot of misconceptions about Muslims and what is really going on in the souks of the world. The belief you bring up that the Times attributes to Prince is actually vaguely racist, coming from the belief that all Muslims think and act alike.

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