The United Arab Emirates has a new Prince with a different twist, this one was hired. This weekend the New York Times reveals the rulers of the United Arab Emirates have hired former Blackwater founder and owner, Erik Prince for the purpose of creating their own private mercenary army.
We knew Prince had left the U.S. and taken up residence in Abu Dhabi. Now we have a better idea of why...
For Mr. Prince, the foreign battalion is a bold attempt at reinvention. He is hoping to build an empire in the desert, far from the trial lawyers, Congressional investigators and Justice Department officials he is convinced worked in league to portray Blackwater as reckless. He sold the company last year, but in April, a federal appeals court reopened the case against four Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.
To help fulfill his ambitions, Mr. Prince’s new company, Reflex Responses, obtained another multimillion-dollar contract to protect a string of planned nuclear power plants and to provide cybersecurity. He hopes to earn billions more, the former employees said, by assembling additional battalions of Latin American troops for the Emiratis and opening a giant complex where his company can train troops for other governments.
Knowing that his ventures are magnets for controversy, Mr. Prince has masked his involvement with the mercenary battalion. His name is not included on contracts and most other corporate documents, and company insiders have at times tried to hide his identity by referring to him by the code name “Kingfish.” But three former employees, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements, and two people involved in security contracting described Mr. Prince’s central role.
One must read the entire article to grasp the full implications of Prince's latest incarnation. But don't look for the pro-democracy movements in the Middle East to spread to the UAE.