Jan 10, 2010
That's right. $1 billion:
Blackwater Worldwide's legal woes
haven't dimmed the company's prospects in Afghanistan, where it's a
contender to be a key part of President Barack Obama's strategy for
stabilizing the country.
Now called Xe Services, the company is in the running for a Pentagon
contract potentially worth $1 billion to train Afghanistan's troubled
national police force. Xe has been shifting to training, aviation and
logistics work after its security guards were accused of killing
unarmed Iraqi civilians more than two years ago.
Yet even with a new name and focus, the expanded role would seem an
unlikely one for Xe because Democrats have held such a negative opinion
of the company following the Iraqi deaths, which are still
reverberating in Baghdad and Washington.
Blackwater was basically kicked out of Iraq for wantonly killing civilians in Baghdad
while providing "security" for the State Department in 2007. Even
though a US court failed to bring them to justice, Iraq is still
pursuing the case and has so little trust in Blackwater or the people
it hires that the government has explicitly said former Blackwater employees are not welcome in the country.
American forces are already on thin ice with the Afghan populace
because we're killing civilians left and right with, among other
things, our drones. Now Blackwater, mercenaries known around the world
for their brutality, might get the contract to train the Afghan police?
In what world does this seem like a good idea?
It very well may be impossible to train a functioning Afghan police
force, especially on the timeline the administration wants. Any
incidents with Blackwater employees in Afghanistan would only make the
situation worse, and I'm fairly sure the Afghan people don't want their
new police force trained in Blackwater techniques anyway, given their
If Blackwater gets this contract, which hopefully they will not, I
can only see more anger from the Afghan people directed at America in
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