Loyal to no country, Blackwater is one of many Private Military Companies (PMC) taking on high-risk security contracts in today’s modern warfare. Their alliance is only to the highest bidder.
Blackwater, like many other PMCs was formed in the shadow of political war and globalization. Blackwater began by acquiring contracts to carry out in-field support missions for the Army. As the PMC industry grew and the necessity for governments to shift the media’s focus off decision and errors, Blackwater and other PMCs took over combat missions to carrying out the dirty work of governments and private enterprises. To put it simply, they dodge the media’s spotlight and get the job done.
Private contractors working for PMCs represent 60% of the total ground forces in Afghanistan. The industry is quickly creating its own economy as governments and clients barter on a per-contract basis for their own private military. This has pushed the PMC industry’s net worth to over $218 billion. This massive influx of cash has paved a career path for the best of the Army’s soldiers. One of these guys on duty for 2 years in Iraq will earn over $400,000 for their service to the private sector, almost 4 times that of a typical soldier’s annual wage.
“Anyone who is any good in the Army isn’t in the Army any more” says Phillip Millis, PMC Contractor. These guys know that there’s is good money to be earned without the politics or uniforms.
This raises some concerns for the future of war and security. PMCs don’t represent a country or government, they don’t stand by a set of ingrained ideals. If they are paid to get the job done, can their ethical decisions become skewed? What happens when the highest bidder becomes the world’s next superpower? He who has the most cash can afford the most muscle.
See it all in Vice’s 15 minute documentary on The Rise of the Private Military.