September 8, 2007

Blackwater Grows as Support for Iraq War Shrinks

Guest Writer: L. Vincent Sebastian

With each passing month, more and more Americans are finding the Iraq war unacceptable and are calling for near-term troop redeployment and withdrawal. As for political progress in Iraq, the recent report of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said the Iraqi government has failed to meet 11 of 18 benchmarks set by the U.S. Congress earlier in the year, and has only partially met another four benchmarks. On the military side, the "surge" has had only mixed results and violence continues in most parts of the country. The widely anticipated report by Gen. Petraeus later this month will be mixed as well, giving both sides of the debate plenty of reasons to stick to their positions.

Against this backdrop of civil war in Iraq and political stalemate here at home, the private military contractor Blackwater is quietly expanding outward from its 7,000-acre headquarters in Moyock, North Carolina. Blackwater now has two new facilities in the works: a newly completed 80-acre compound in Mount Carroll, Illinois, and plans for an 800-acre facility in the hills outside San Diego, California. Groups of concerned citizens such as Blackwater Watch and Clearwater are keeping an eye on, and in some cases protesting, this expansion.

As Blackwater expands its geographic footprint, it is also growing the list of services it offers. The most recent new service is its training class to prepare law enforcement officers to handle active shooters such as the one who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. This five-day session will put trainees into simulated scenarios at a mock high school. While special tactical units such as SWAT teams are often part of large domestic law enforcement agencies, the direct involvement of a private military contractor in the training of police here at home is cause for concern. It blurs the line between our domestic police and our national defense, and unfortunately puts us one step closer to a militarized home front.


The Virginian-Pilot, "Others not so neighborly to Blackwater as North Carolina", by JOANNE KIMBERLIN, , August 26, 2007.

Associated Press, "Blackwater Offers Classes to Combat Active Shooters", by MIKE BAKER, August 27, 2007.

CLICK for Related Pieces by L. V. Sebastian


Anony-Mouse said...

They have every reason to be expanding. This is a business that is growing FAST as a direct result of Federal Government support. We give them blind contracts and they charge us far more than they would if it were competitive, a principal totally against the concept of capitalism. This is a corporate arm of government, and this expansion is very bad news.

GDAEman said...


You remind me of a quote by FDR:

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

And while we're at it:

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

- Benito Mussolini