Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army

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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
Blackwater Scahill.jpg
Author Jeremy Scahill
Country United States
Language English
Series Politics
Publisher Nation Books
Publication date
February 15, 2007
Media type Print
Pages 464
ISBN 1-56025-979-5
OCLC 84897494
355.3/540973 22
LC Class DS79.76 .S322 2007

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army is a book written by independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, published by Nation Books in 2007, as a history and analysis of Blackwater USA, now called Academi. It won one of the 2007 George Polk Awards. [1]

Jeremy Scahill American journalist

Jeremy Scahill is an American investigative journalist, writer, the founding editor of the online news publication The Intercept and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, which won the George Polk Book Award. His book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield was published by Nation Books on April 23, 2013. On June 8, 2013, the documentary film of the same name, produced, narrated and co-written by Scahill, was released. It premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.



The book details the rise of Blackwater USA, a private military company, and the growth of security contracting in the Iraq War and the War on Terrorism. In the book, Scahill contends that Blackwater exists as a mercenary force, and argues that Blackwater's rise is a consequence of the demobilization of the US military following the Cold War and its overextension in Iraq and Afghanistan. He describes further how Blackwater (at the time of writing) serves in Iraq and Afghanistan like, in his judgement, a Praetorian Guard, protecting top authority figures and enjoying immunity from the usual constraints and regulations on traditional armies. Scahill argues that Blackwater's leadership was motivated by a right-wing Republican ideology, and that its founder, Erik Prince, has provided significant assistance in that venue. Blackwater is also present in some parts of Pakistan.

A private military company (PMC) is a private company providing armed combat or security services for financial gain. PMCs refer to their staff as "security contractors" or "private military contractors". Private military companies refer to their business generally as the "private military industry" or "The Circuit".

Iraq War war which started on 20 March 2003

The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict that began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first three to four years of conflict. The U.S. became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition; the insurgency and many dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue. The invasion occurred as part of a declared war against international terrorism and its sponsors under the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Mercenary soldier who fights for hire

A mercenary is an individual who is hired to take part in a conflict but is not part of an army or other-governmental organisation. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political interests. In the last century, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed, the Geneva Conventions declare that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured soldiers of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap, as was often the case among Italian condottieri.


International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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Academi is an American private military company founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL officer Erik Prince as Blackwater, renamed as Xe Services in 2009 and now known as Academi since 2011 after the company was acquired by a group of private investors. The company received widespread notoriety in 2007, when a group of its employees were convicted of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad for which four guards were convicted in a U.S. court.

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Joseph E. Schmitz American businessman

Joseph Edward Schmitz is an American lawyer, former inspector general of the United States Department of Defense and a former executive with Blackwater Worldwide. After working as a watchdog at the Pentagon for three and a half years, Schmitz resigned to return to the private sector. Although allegations questioning his stewardship of the inspector general's office surfaced nine months after his resignation, a high-level review board, the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, cleared him of all wrongdoing in 2006. He was named one of Donald Trump's foreign policy advisors for his 2016 presidential campaign.

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They will come. I don't care what fences or how many Border Patrol Agents you put there, they will come!

Erik Prince American businessman

Erik Dean Prince is an American businessman and former U.S. Navy SEAL officer best known for founding the government services and security company Blackwater USA, now known as Academi. He served as its CEO until 2009 and later as chairman, until Blackwater Worldwide was sold in 2010 to a group of investors. Prince currently heads the private equity firm Frontier Resource Group and is chairman of Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group Ltd. He is the brother of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

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The 2004 Fallujah ambush occurred on March 31, 2004, when Iraqi insurgents attacked a convoy containing four American contractors from the private military company Blackwater USA who were conducting a delivery for food caterers ESS.

Nisour Square massacre

On September 16, 2007, employees of Blackwater Security Consulting, a private military company, shot at Iraqi civilians, killing 17 and injuring 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad, while escorting a U.S. embassy convoy. The killings outraged Iraqis and strained relations between Iraq and the United States. In 2014, four Blackwater employees were tried and convicted in U.S. federal court; one of murder, and the other three of manslaughter and firearms charges.

Dahr Jamail American journalist

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<i>Dirty Wars</i> 2013 documentary film on US covert warfare directed by Richard Rowley

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<i>The Intercept</i> US online newspaper

The Intercept is an online news publication dedicated to what it describes as "adversarial journalism". It is supported financially by First Look Media, owned by Pierre Omidyar. Its editors are Betsy Reed, Glenn Greenwald, and Jeremy Scahill. Former editor Laura Poitras left the publication to work on non-fiction films. The Intercept also publishes two podcasts: Intercepted hosted by Scahill and Deconstructed hosted by Mehdi Hasan.

Triple Canopy

Triple Canopy, Inc., is a private security company that provides integrated security, mission support and risk management services to corporate, government and nonprofit clients. The firm was founded in May 2003 by the U.S. Army Special Forces veterans, including former Delta operators. In June 2014, the firm merged with rival security contracting firm, Academi, formerly Blackwater, to form Constellis Group, with Craig Nixon, the former CEO of Academi, becoming the CEO of Constellis Group, and training facilities being consolidated at the existing Academi training facility in North Carolina. It was staffed by, among others, a number of former Army Special Operations personnel, Special Forces soldiers, Rangers, SEALs, MARSOC Critical Skills Operators, other special operations personnel, and a select few law enforcement officers. Over 5,000 employees worked for Triple Canopy at the time of the merger.

Edgar Dale Prince was an American businessman, the founder of the Prince Corporation.

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  1. McFadden, Robert D. (2008-02-19). "Slain Editor Heads List of Polk Award Winners". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-03-16.
<i>The Nation</i> Weekly magazine on progressive politics and culture, based in New York City

The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, and the most widely read weekly journal of progressive political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis. It was founded on July 6, 1865, as a successor to William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator. It is published by its namesake owner The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City, and associated with The Nation Institute.