Mercenaries are an interesting wildcard to study. They play some part in almost every major conflict yet are seldom mentioned in the history books. For example, when the United States declared an end to combat operations in Iraq it decided to leave a bunch of mercenaries behind. This receives little coverage by major media outlets who were simply declaring and end to the Iraqi conflict.
I referred to mercenaries as wildcards because their allegiances are often murky at best. Even if you’re paying them they might turn on you if one of your opponents makes a better offer. They may also turn on you simply because they feel as though you’re meddling in their affairs:
On Aug. 20, 2007, Mr. Richter was called in to the office of the embassy’s regional security officer, Bob Hanni, who said he had received a call asking him to document Mr. Richter’s “inappropriate behavior.” Mr. Richter quickly called his supervisor in Washington, who instructed him to take Mr. Thomas with him to all remaining meetings in Baghdad, his report noted.
The next day, the two men met with Daniel Carroll, Blackwater’s project manager in Iraq, to discuss the investigation, including a complaint over food quality and sanitary conditions at a cafeteria in Blackwater’s compound. Mr. Carroll barked that Mr. Richter could not tell him what to do about his cafeteria, Mr. Richter’s report said. The Blackwater official went on to threaten the agent and say he would not face any consequences, according to Mr. Richter’s later account.
Mr. Carroll said “that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” Mr. Richter wrote in a memo to senior State Department officials in Washington. He noted that Mr. Carroll had formerly served with Navy SEAL Team 6, an elite unit.
You read that correctly. A member of
Blackwater Xe Academi threatened to kill a United States official. Between all of the other shenanigans members of Academi have pulled in Iraq I think it’s safe to say that it basically does whatever the hell it wants do. Considering this happened in 2007 and Academi is still there it appears as though the United States isn’t too concerned about it’s dog biting at its hand. I’m interested in seeing what kind of atrocities committed by Academi we’ll learn about in the coming years. If it felt safe enough to threaten a United States official chances are it felt safe enough to violate Iraqi citizens at will.