THE BASIS POINT

Business Is Good At Blackwater

BlackwaterNot all companies are hurting in this economic environment. Private security and military surrogate firm Blackwater is already making $300 to $400 million per year from the US State Department alone for it’s work in Iraq—and this is to say nothing of the contracts with other US agencies and those of non-US governments plus all their private contracts. Now it looks like they’re making a market for themselves in the hot new field of protecting the seas from piracy.

Blackwater quietly rose to prominence as the Bush administration looked to privatize military efforts on the guise of making military more efficient. The controversy about Blackwater, and private military in general, is that soldiers-for-pay have no loyalty to a cause but only loyalty to the highest bidder—they could fight for the US in Iraq, or just as easily fight against the US if paid well enough by opposing forces. They run into trouble now and again, but it always blows over, and the war machine keeps turning. The revised edition of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army was released earlier this year, and is a surprisingly easy read for such a painstakingly researched chronicle of Blackwater’s rise. Must read for anyone interested in this topic.