US: Blackwater vies for jobs beyond security

If Blackwater USA was the one offering you humanitarian help when you are in a disaster zone I advise you to run. The last time they were doing that they were in New Orleans patroling the streets with bloody great guns. (See the header of this blog), and we all know what happens with Blackwater in combination with guns. Yet this is exactly what Erik Prince wants to do.

MOYOCK, N.C. — Even as Blackwater USA seeks to extricate itself from a firestorm over the conduct of its private-security forces in Iraq, company founder Erik Prince is laying plans for an expansion that would put his for-hire forces in hot spots around the world doing far more than guard duty.

Blackwater faces criticism in the wake of a Sept. 16 shooting by the company’s guards that the Iraqi government says killed 17 civilians, a crisis that appears to threaten the company’s livelihood. Yet at Blackwater’s headquarters here, where the sound of gunfire and explosions is testament to the daily training of hundreds of law-enforcement and military personnel, Mr. Prince’s ambition is on display.

Mr. Prince wants to vault Blackwater into the major leagues of U.S. military contracting, taking advantage of the movement to privatize all kinds of government security. The company wants to be a one-stop shop for the U.S. government on missions to which it won’t commit American forces. This is a niche with few established competitors, but it is drawing more and more interest from big military firms.

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