• UAE Sends ‘Blackwater’ Colombian Mercenaries to Yemen

    November 30, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq, Yemen


    So file this one under “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” subcategory, “Everything.”

    American ally the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country’s raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran, reports the New York Times.

    It is the first combat deployment for the mercenary army that the Emirates has built up over the past five years. And — small world –the army was raised and for its few years run by Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater. The mercs are presently controlled by the small Emirati military while Prince presumably has moved on to create private merc armies for others we’ll someday learn about.

    The arrival in Yemen of 450 Latin American troops — among them are also Panamanian, Salvadoran and Chilean soldiers — adds to the volatile stew of government armies, armed tribes, terrorist networks and Yemeni militias currently at war in the country. Earlier this year, a coalition of Sunni countries led by Saudi Arabia, including the United States, began a military campaign in Yemen against Shia Houthi rebels supported by Iran. So, in theory, the merc army is semi-on the same side as the U.S.

    As background, we all do remember that the U.S. government previously employed Erik Prince’s Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq as security for the American embassy and State Department diplomats.

    After Blackwater imploded, killing 14 innocent Iraqi civilians and wounding 17 others, in Nisour Square and after a few name changes (Xe, Academi) to hide the fact that Blackwater was still employed by the State Department long after, the mercenary contracts moved to other similar but unrelated companies. Those companies in turn employed mercenaries from various countries in service to the USG. In addition to many mercs from Central and South America, popular hired guns also were recruited from Africa, where child soldiers and constant warfare created a steady pool of trained recruits.

    “Mercenaries are an attractive option for rich countries who wish to wage war yet whose citizens may not want to fight,” said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order.

    “The private military industry is global now,” said McFate, adding that the United States essentially “legitimized” the industry with its heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan over more than a decade of war.

    BONUS: Erik Prince is now chairman of another security firm, Frontier Services Group. It focuses heavily on providing logistics and aviation support in Africa. The company has a fleet of Cessna aircraft and “holds important customer approvals from the United Nations, the British government and the U.S. government.”

    And what could possibly go wrong with all that?

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  • Recent Comments

    • teri said...


      The US Air Force is now using contractors (e.g., mercenaries) to help with the drone-killing operations. There are some legal questions being raised about this.

      “The Air Force has hired civilian defense contractors to fly MQ-9 Reaper drones to help track suspected militants and other targets in global hot spots, a previously undisclosed expansion in the privatization of once-exclusively military functions.

      “For the first time, civilian pilots and crews now operate what the Air Force calls ‘combat air patrols,’ daily round-the-clock flights above areas of military operations to provide video and collect other sensitive intelligence. […]

      “A lengthy article in the 2013 Air Force Law Review, a publication of the judge advocate general’s office, contended that over-reliance on contractors in a combat zone risks violating international law that prohibits direct civilian participation in hostilities. […]”


      The above is a very good and detailed article about the matter. I do wish they had more strongly pointed out, however, that the use of mercenaries in any war zone is a violation of international law, and that we have been breaking that law routinely for years now.

      I have also wondered for quite a long time how it is that the CIA is involved in the drone-killing program. The CIA is not a part of our military, is comprised of civilians, and technically, therefore, answers to no Commander-in-Chief. The article does not mention this issue, either. To date, I have not heard of any member of Congress or any reporter asking this question. Nor, oddly, does anyone question the entire legitimacy of the agency, which we now know for a fact runs weapons- and drug-smuggling operations in a slew of countries.

      12/1/15 7:32 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      The thought occurs to me that perhaps one reason Congress has not legally declared war with all the countries we are currently bombing is so we can get away with the use of the CIA and mercenaries. If it isn’t technically a “war”, then the use of civilians doesn’t technically break any law, international or domestic, right?

      I shoulda been a lawyer, like some rich and famous people are (coughObamacough) and then I could think of more shit like this all day long. All it costs is your soul. And near as I can tell, the people who are running things don’t have much use for theirs.

      12/1/15 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      ” The CIA is not a part of our military, is comprised of civilians, and technically, therefore, answers to no Commander-in-Chief. ”

      B I N G O! THE 800 lb gorilla running amok across the planet.

      For all intents and purposes, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jim Garrison was dead on. …

      “(snip)What worries me deeply, and I have seen it exemplified in this case, is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans evolved; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours, curiously enough,seems to be emerging from prosperity. But in the final analysis, it’s based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. Its origins can be traced in the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower vainly warned us about, which now dominates every aspect of our life. The power of the states and Congress has gradually been abandoned to the Executive Department, because of
      war conditions; and we’ve seen the creation of an arrogant, swollen bureaucratic complex totally unfettered by the checks and balances of the Constitution. In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We’re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn’t the test.The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same. I’ve learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I’ve always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government’s basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I’ve come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long oncesaid, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America…

      in the name of national security.”unquote

      In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA. Any questions?

      As of yesterday, that CIA sucking chairman of the Intelligence committee, Senator Burr, has finally, and totally, locked up every single copy of the Senate “torture” report. PERMANENTLY. No Congress member will EVER get to read it in the future. Let alone the public. MOREOVER..he thinks we need to let the CIA “restart” the torture program.
      Just like Garrison said..in the name of..ahem..national security.

      Ya know, if someone assassinated Burr tomorrow..I’d clap.

      Folks, we are now heading into the last phase of this country’s downfall. And it’s gonna get real..fucking..ugly.

      12/1/15 10:21 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Garrison was a prophet. My only disagreement is the argument that the CIA is in control, that they are in effect “the government.” I suggest they are more a tool of the wealthy and powerful, though there is considerable overlap between the two entities. Administrations from Truman forward have allowed the CIA to do what they do because it serves a greater need, suppression of the people to enable the profits of the one percent.

      12/1/15 10:25 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      ps.. take a gander at this and tell me the CIA isn’t the biggest TERRORIST organization on the planet..and has been for 50 fucking years…


      not to mention their drug running…


      Moreover.. dig into this and you’ll discover the depth of these scumbags cesspool..


      No wonder Senator Pike was astounded. As for Congress.. they are fucking clueless. They couldn’t stop the CIA if they had to. It can run on it”s own volition..


      America..you are soooo fucked.

      12/1/15 10:43 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Peter said:

      “My only disagreement is the argument that the CIA is in control,..(snip)”

      I beg to differ. The CIA is only a manifestation of the real elite, who have ALWAYS had a member of the 40 club at the head. From Dulles to Brenner.

      At my age, I may not be able to ever prove this is true. However..frankly, I’ve learned enough by now to say I don’t really give a shit anymore. It is what it is. Only history will tell. What I do know though, is the CIA is the most evil, devious, despicable, lying, reprobate organization on the face of this planet. They make ISIS look like the amateur’s they are, regardless of ISIS evilness. In fact, the players at the top of the USG, have used the CIA for their own despicable agenda’s for decades. But Benghazi is in a class of it’s own.. the Lords of War truly run this country. …


      If this information became known across this country.. and nothing happened..we are truly.. absolutely.. the DUMBEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET.

      12/1/15 7:28 PM | Comment Link

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