Blackwater Reveals Underpinnings of ‘Private Security’ Industry
Reviewed by Alice Cherbonnier

Questions arise for which there are no known answers at this time, such as: Who else besides Erik Prince has a financial stake in Blackwater?

Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
by Jeremy Scahill
NY: Avalon Publishing Group, Inc./Nation Books, 2007. 438 pp. $26.95.

Among the many topics covered in his new book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill shows how politically powerful Christian fundamentalists and Neocons are pressing forward with their battle for what they call ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’-whether the U.S. public, or indeed the rest of the world, wants to fight or not.
They envision, as a Baltimore Sun letter to the editor expressed on March 25, “a global war, with the United States serving as the primary defender of Western civilization against our rarely named enemy, Islamist totalitarianism…”
Sounds over the top, doesn’t it? Yet those who believe “Western civilization” (read “Christendom” or perhaps “Judeo-Christendom”) is imperiled by ‘infidels’ are pushing hard to confront and defeat ‘the enemy.’

War that serves the purposes of this ‘belief’ faction also fuels profits for war-related businesses. Scahill demonstrates the added risks that can occur when these two powerful motivations (one might even substitute the word “addictions”) come together.

Blackwater USA is prominent among many companies that provide “contract security” personnel for governments, corporations and wealthy individuals. It began in 1987 by offering advanced military training at its 7,000-acre main training facility in Moyock, North Carolina, near the Great Dismal Swamp, and has rapidly expanded. It is now doing business on a global scale, with its operations horizontally and vertically integrated to cover just about any imaginable security need.

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