"Blackwater USA: Turning The All-Volunteer Army Into An ‘Army For Hire’"
This week at a conference in Jordan, Blackwater USA vice chairman Cofer Black announced that the private security company is ready to shift from a security role to a more “overt combat role,” essentially becoming an army for hire.
The Bush administration has shown itself more than willing to call in Blackwater in place of U.S. troops.
In Aug. 2003, the Bush administration awarded Blackwater a $21.3 million contract to guard then Amb. Paul Bremer. The average senior special operations officer makes $50,000 a year from the U.S. government. Employees in private security firms in Iraq often make more than $1,000 a day from government contracts. This arrangement is “depleting the ranks of the special forces,” luring them into lucrative private jobs.
Some military analysts initially welcomed the administration’s private security arrangement with Blackwater because it allowed “regular military troops to concentrate on fighting.” But Blackwater’s new proposal would shift some of the fighting to the private sector, further diminishing the role of the all-volunteer army.