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Hanley (Doc) Harding

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Our New War... Part 25, The Blackwater Thing
by Hanley (Doc) Harding   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2007

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Blackwater is being set up as a scapegoat and propaganda coup...

The Blackwater Thing

The Blackwater organization specializes in providing top ex-military (Delta Force and SEAL) personnel for really really tough security assignments. They also provide top quality tactical law enforcement training. They have been accused of being mercenaries – soldiers-for-hire. They do provide highly specialized, custom-tailored security services. In providing such protective services to our State Department in Iraq, they have come under scrutiny, and now, formal investigation.

What the tempest-in-a-teapot all comes down to, is: ROEs, Rules of Engagement. The miltary is badly constrained by ROEs, and suffers for it – in lives lost – nearly every day. This goes for Special Operations personnel, as well as regular troops. In a recent operation, a Navy SEAL team met disaster when it did not kill civilians whom the team knew would give away their position to the Taliban. Strict adherance to the ROEs by the team not only cost them their mission, but nearly every man’s life. I believe the SEALs of the Vietnam War era would not have been so politically correct.

So, you may ask... what’s that got to do with Blackwater? Everything.

First, the military does not and will not provide protective services to State Department personnel.

Second, the State Department does not have the resources to provide the high number of security personnel needed for protection in an active combat zone.

Third, since using Blackwater, the State Department has not lost one person, where Blackwater was responsible for security.

Does Blackwater adhere strictly to the ROEs? No. Should they? I don’t think so. Blackwater personnel are highly pro-active. This means – in their combat experience – if it smells like trouble, looks like trouble, and acts like trouble, then there’s no time to waste deciding what the appropriate ROEs are, for the situation at hand... it’s time to act.

I believe Blackwater was – and will continue to be – set up. Terrorists have – since time immemorial – used innocent civilians as cover for their actions, and the unfortunate deaths of those civilians as propaganda for their causes. There are many in Iraq who would dearly love to see Blackwater leave. Then, they would be able to successfully target our State Department personnel. Blackwater – so far – has been the impenetrable shield which frustrates and enrages the murderers. And so, these murderers will continue to plan and create bigger and more newsworthy incidents involving civilians, in their hopes and efforts do the only thing they can to defeat Blackwater... have them sent home.

Even some naive military personnel have complained that Blackwater is not following the military’s ROEs. This is not so much a complaint against Blackwater, as it is a cry of frustration over the ROEs which get uniformed personnel killed all-too-often.

So... do we send Blackwater home, and allow our State Department personnel to get slaughtered? Do we detach a few companies of Marines to do Blackwater’s job? Would the Marines be as effective as Blackwater, at protecting State Department personnel? Understand, I am certainly not denigrating the combat competence of Marines, but... they would have to strictly follow those ROEs (or face a Court Martial)... which would get them – and State Department personnel – killed.

Helluva quandary, eh...???

Doc Harding
October 2007

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Reviewed by Edward Duranty 10/3/2007
You are so right. Our own propaganda is what makes our enemies so great. What are their ROEs? NONE. Great read
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 10/3/2007
It is a helluva quandary, but, gosh, thanks for the very clear explanation that you give. How many of us had no idea about all this? You convince when you say Blackwater shouldn't follow ROEs. Cheers
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