All the King’s Men

obama_bow In more extremely predictable but also extremely relevant news, it turns out that the “emirs” who run the United Arab Emirates and make those lovely sweetheart deals with international capitalists are hiring our old friend Blackwater to build them an army of international mercenaries.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

The U.A.E.’s rulers, [view] their own military as inadequate [read: unreliable].

The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion.

American officials indicated that the battalion program had some support in Washington.

“The gulf countries, and the U.A.E. in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” said one Obama administration official who knew of the operation. “They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.” [Source: The New York Times, May 15, 2011]

This is the kind of stuff we are up against. One wonders how effective unpublicized special pleading for somewhat different statistics will be against such forces….

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