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The DEA and DoD counternarcotics program is supported by Blackwater Worldwide in Afghanistan as well. United States Training Center (USTC, formerly Blackwater Training Center) offers tactics and weapons training to military, government, and law enforcement agencies. Some 260 staff are affected with about 50 losing their jobs, beginning at the end of February. [18] Jamie Smith and his deputy David Phillips recruited, vetted and hired a 21-man team. [57] Academi's facilities include a man-made lake, with stacked containers simulating the hull and deck of a ship for maritime assaults. However, the company is still allowed to accept government contracts. He remained as chairman of the board but was no longer involved in day-to-day operations. [111] In a 2010 interview, Erik Prince, the company's founder, said the government is looking for dirt to support what he dismissed as "baseless" accusations that run the gamut from negligence, racial discrimination, prostitution, wrongful death, murder, and the smuggling of weapons into Iraq in dog-food containers. It owned and operated three subsidiaries: STI Aviation, Inc. Air Quest, Inc. and Presidential Airways, Inc. Type [19] Smith left Blackwater to start his own firm, SCG International Risk, in 2003. The ship is home-ported in Norfolk, Virginia.[60]. [83], Greystone had planned to open a training facility on the former grounds of the Subic Bay U.S. [155], On January 30, 2009, the State Department told Blackwater Worldwide that it will not renew its contract in Iraq. [93], In March 2006, Cofer Black, vice chairman of Blackwater USA, allegedly suggested at an international conference in Amman, Jordan, that the company was ready to move towards providing security professionals up to brigade size (3,000–5,000) for humanitarian efforts and low-intensity conflicts. [118], In April 2004, at the U.S. government's headquarters in Najaf, hundreds of Shiite militia forces barraged Blackwater contractors, four MPs and a Marine gunner with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 fire for hours before U.S. Special Forces troops arrived. [26], In May 2006, the U.S. State Department awarded WPPS II, the successor to its previous diplomatic security contract. Prince purchased approximately 7,000 acres (28 km2) of the Great Dismal Swamp, a vast swamp on the North Carolina–Virginia border that is now mostly a national wildlife refuge, from Dow Jones executive Sean Trotter. In the fall of 2007, a congressional report by the House Oversight Committee found that Blackwater intentionally "delayed and impeded" investigations into the contractors' deaths. How can Americans support peace in Nagorno-Karabakh? After the September 11 attacks, Cofer Black, the former head of counter terrorism at the CIA, requested that the federal government hire more contractors to operate overseas. The House Intelligence Committee has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department for Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater. January 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, March 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, April 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, June 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, July 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, September 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, October 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes, December 2018 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes. The suit further accused Blackwater employees of murder, weapons smuggling, money laundering, tax evasion, and child prostitution. [177] Two affidavits filed as part of the suit by former employees accuse Blackwater of encouraging the murder of Iraqi civilians, and of murdering or having murdered employees who intended to testify against the company. $5.00 "[101] On February 7, 2007, four family members testified in front of the House Government Reform Committee. I have to say that Blackwater has done a very good job. [127][128], In late May 2007, Blackwater contractors opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days, one of the incidents provoking a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi Interior Ministry commandos, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. The Obama administration awarded Academi a $250 million contract to work for the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan. If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November. The company trains canines to work in patrol capacities as war dogs, explosives and drug detection, and various other roles for military and law enforcement duties. We provide training to set up roadblocks, identify where drug lords are, and act so as not to impact the community. Now, under the Trump administration, observers expect things to get worse. [82][dead link], Erik Prince intended Greystone to be used for peacekeeping missions in areas like Darfur where military operations would need to take place to establish peace. Company literature says that it is the largest training facility in the country. The federal government turned to Blackwater for assistance. Several relatives of the victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Presidential in October 2005. v. Prince, et al", "Lawsuit now accuses Xe contractors of murder, kidnapping", "Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder", "January 2010: Adam Ciralsky on Blackwater", "Iraqis say they were forced to take Blackwater settlement", "Most Charges Dismissed Against Ex-Blackwater Execs", "Case Ends Against Ex-Blackwater Officials", "Former Blackwater company settles arms case", "Blackwater Successor to Pay Fine to Settle Arms Charges", "Did Blackwater Graymail Lead to a Whitewash? [166], On January 31, 2010, three current and former U.S. government officials confirmed the Justice Department is investigating whether officials of Blackwater Worldwide tried to bribe Iraqi government officials in hopes of retaining the firm's security work in Iraq after the shooting in Nisour Square in Baghdad, which left 17 Iraqis dead and stoked bitter resentment against the United States. [78] These aircraft include fourteen Bell 412 helicopters, three Hughes/MD 369 "Little Bird" helicopters, four Bell 214ST medium-lift helicopters, three Fairchild Swearingen Merlin IIIC turboprop airliners, nine Aérospatiale Puma utility helicopters,[79] a Maule Air MT-7-235 STOL aircraft, an Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano counterinsurgency aircraft, and a Mooney M20E fixed wing aircraft. Active The new site Buzzfeed obtained a private pitch deck in which Prince detailed how the Afghanistan war of his fantasies would be funded — with potential profits from war in the Helmand province alone reaching more than $1 trillion. Plans Tighter Control of Security Firm", U.S. will not renew Blackwater contract in Iraq, "Blackwater Reaches Deal on U.S. The Mercs, (a shortened version of Mercenaries), are the military arm of Cordis Die and an enemy faction that appear in Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Strike Team. This team was then trained and deployed on a Top Secret project to provide protection for CIA personnel and facilities in Afghanistan. "[86], Academi (then Blackwater USA) was one of five companies picked in September 2007 by the Department of Defense Counter-Narcotics Technology Program Office in a five-year contract for equipment, material and services in support of counter-narcotics activities. [147][148], In the wake of Prince's testimony before Congress, the US House passed the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act in October 2007 that subsequently led to the prosecution by U.S. courts of some US military contractors, but only for incidents involving attacks on US nationals. Mercenaries’ hazy legal definition is extremely useful to the U.S., for one because it enables the Pentagon not to count what are effectively additional “boots on the ground” in its tallies of fighters, casualties and deaths. In the past, it has trained Greek security forces for the 2004 Olympics, Azerbaijan Naval Sea Commandos, and Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior. [107], The Iraqi Government revoked Blackwater's license to operate in Iraq on September 17, 2007, after a massacre in which Blackwater contractors were later convicted of killing 14 Iraqi civilians. [56], Academi offers tactical training for maritime force protection units. [135], On October 2, 2007, Erik Prince attended a congressional hearing conducted by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform following the controversy related to Blackwater's conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. A company spokeswoman stated: "When the US government initially asked for our help to assist with an immediate need to protect Americans in Iraq, we answered the call and performed well. [39] The change deemphasized the "cross hair" reticle theme, simplifying it slightly. In explaining Blackwater's purpose, Prince stated: "We are trying to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did for the Postal Service". [51], In 2016, Ali al-Houthi, former President of the Revolutionary Committee, a body formed by Houthi militants, reported that a Tochka missile hit on a Saudi-led command center in Ma'rib resulting in the death of over 120 mercenaries, including 55 Saudi (9 officers), 11 UAE and 11 foreign commanders of Blackwater on January 17 as well as other material losses. Prince and Blackwater are the clearest evidence of that. [101][102] Of the State Department's dependence on private contractors like Blackwater for security purposes, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told the U.S. Senate: "There is simply no way at all that the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security could ever have enough full-time personnel to staff the security function in Iraq. Academi's Board of Directors included former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former White House Counsel and Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Jack Quinn, retired Admiral and former NSA Director Bobby Ray Inman,[44] and Texas businessman Red McCombs, who served as Chairman of the Board. Prosecution under civilian law would be through the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which allows the extension of federal law to civilians supporting military operations; however, according to the deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's criminal division, Robert Litt, trying a criminal case in federal court would require a secure chain of evidence, with police securing the crime scene immediately, while evidence gathered by Iraqi investigators would be regarded as suspect. The contract is worth up to $15 billion. If the Founding Fathers saw what the United States has become, they would be devastated. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, civilian security teams were needed by the United States Military. The company views the aviation division as a growth opportunity. The following incident occurred when an Iraqi vehicle drove too close to a convoy. But this hardly seems to matter because, by exploiting loopholes in international law along with some creative “lawyering,” the modern mercenary now operates with impunity. The Mercs in Karma, despite being described as ex-Cuban Militia, sometimes speak in English with a clear English accent. Donation Total: [88] Blackwater is also involved in mentoring Afghan officials in drug interdiction and counter narcotics. [62], By 2003, the ground war in Iraq changed into a diplomatic mission, demanding hundreds of diplomats and State Department employees. [141], In his testimony before Congress, Prince said his company has a lack of remedies to deal with employee misdeeds. In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards. There is a reason why the United Nations stands firmly against the use of mercenary fighters: because mercenaries, at the end of the day, have performed far more atrocities than acts of valor on the battlefield.

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