Sobering Data on IEDs and Blackwater

Hard to understand how large stockpiles of explosives were left available to insurgents since the US invaded Iraq under the pretense of searching and securing access to weapons. This is not new information, but just the sad reality that Rumsfeld’s incompetence is now unmistakable:

“The ground force in Iraq had not foreseen this threat in the initial planning for Operation Iraqi Freedom,” a recent study at the U.S. Joint Forces Staff College found. In fact, the U.S. invasion force’s failure to secure Iraq’s ammunition dumps in 2003 left tons of bomb ingredients available to insurgents.

The Pentagon has sought to recover via a crash program — the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, or JIEDDO — that by next year is expected to have spent some $13 billion on detectors and robots to defuse bombs, vehicle armor, training and other means to “defeat” the homemade weapons.

That sum is comparable, in inflation-adjusted dollars, to what the U.S. spent building the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945, based on figures compiled by Washington’s Brookings Institution. Some in Congress complain the money’s accomplishing little.

Not only accomplishing little in terms of saving American lives but also redirecting money away from social programs like health and education. Tax payer money diverted to militia moguls to build a privatized version of the congressional military-industrial complex, with a profit of $550/day per soldier on domestic assignments according to Cliff Carson.

War has become a profitable business for these Companies. And, as said earlier they have their sights on becoming the dominant force policing American citizens. The rise of this war monger culture was greatly encouraged by the current administration. Possibly this is why Democrats, now the majority in Washington, don’t want to dismantle the business as is. There is profit and power to be realized. You will be sent the bill.

AlterNet reports that a fight is brewing in California over land use by these privately owned and operated armies that market themselves as “non-offensive” and “non-mercenary” but fail to go so far as to say they are good for the neighborhood:

Things are going gang-busters for Blackwater, the world’s premiere private army. They’ve got a nice chunk of the booming security business in Iraq — the estimated 180,000 private contractors now exceeds the number of troops in the country and, as Jeremy Scahill points out on the front page, firms like Blackwater are “flush with profits.”

But that’s only a tiny slice of the pie: Blackwater recently introduced its own armored vehicle, the Grizzly Armored Personnel Carrier; Blackwater Airships is building a remotely-piloted vehicle; the company’s global air service, Presidential Airways, holds a secret facility clearance from the DoD — I’m sure they have nothing to do with any extraordinary rendition — and the mercenary outfit recently announced that it was starting a private intelligence firm to rival the CIA.

Any idea why North Carolina, Chicago, and California have been chosen for domestic deployments of these armies? Could it be prime real-estate value? After all, the Blackwater army is run by wealthy businessmen.

The NBC video broadcast on the AlterNet site points out that the giant complex near San Diego is meant to be used for training government soldiers as well as getting into the border-control industry.

So the tough question for the current administration is whether a security crisis (reduced safety) is seen as a failure, if profits are up for private armies. I ponder that in all seriousness as a Texan recently told me he believed the Iraq War has been a good way to build the US economy.

Incidentally, the Merriam-Webster definition of a mercenary seems to be “Etymology: Middle English, from Latin mercenarius, irregular from merced-, merces wages…one that serves merely for wages”. Why does Blackwater object to that term? Wikipedia suggests the following:

As a result of the assumption that a mercenary is exclusively motivated by money, the term “mercenary” carries negative connotations.

And negative connotations are bad for business, apparently, even for a mercenary company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.