View Full Version : BlackWater and Iraq

10-11-2007, 05:05 PM
As I mentioned in the Iran thread I'm a private military contractor. There are dozens of contract companies based in the US and other countries supplying security, instructors and basic needs around the world and not just Iraq and Afghanistan. Of the most notable companies BlackWater is usually in the top 2 or 3 that come to mind when people think of contract security. Of course now that their company name is splashed all over CNN it's hard to deny any knowledge of them. Kinda like OJ Simpson.

As you can imagine the incident in Iraq and the laws governing BlackWater as well as the company I work for has made it a huge topic of conversation here. My personal view is that tactically these guys messed up. The entire point of their existence is to get the person they are guarding (the principal) from point A to point B alive and hopefully unharmed. From the news report last week they sent 4 vehicles out to secure a traffic square because they had information on a threat. The trucks positioned themselves to stop traffic so that the convoy could move through quickly, that's their job. The principal was in the approaching convoy. As a different vehicle approached it was signaled to stop. It didn't. Now from the perspective of the guy assigned to that particular section of road he has no idea what's in that vehicle. There could be 5 passengers or there could be 5 artillery shells wired to a detonator. He shot the vehicle killing the driver. When the vehicle continued moving forward (it was an automatic and in gear) he continued to fire. After that reports get hazy and because of the legal situation BlackWater and the guys involved haven't said anything. Where I believe they went wrong is for whatever reason these guys spent a full 20 minutes in the circle in a fire fight! Operationally this is wrong, dead wrong. Contractors aren't supposed to engage the enemy like this. Their job is the principal and because of the fire fight the convoy they were sent to secure had to take a longer route around the mess they created.
It is not physically possible to determine whether a vehicle approaching you is a threat or not. There's a video in the bottom of this, just how threatening does the vehicle coming towards the convoy look? You will see 100s of those trucks a day on that road. I'm sure more is still yet to be learned/discovered in this as we have not heard their side of the story but I have to wonder what in the world they were thinking staying in one spot like that while the situation worsened.

To make matters worse we as a whole are limited to what we can carry for ammunition. We are restricted, by State Department guidelines, to carry NATO 9mm rounds for our side arms. Here's the problem. The standard NATO round is not suitable for the environment we operate in. It's great for combat but not for a scenario where a friendlies are intermingled with threats. NATO rounds are not designed for single target penetration. Meaning if you shoot one person and someone's standing behind them then you just shot them too! That bullet's not stopping until it's tired or hit's something stronger then it.

Oh, BTW, say what you will honestly and objectively. If you don't like my current profession that's your choice. It won't keep me up at night if you think I'm a mercenary or something ridiculous like that.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y93/unimoose1/th_Convoy_VBIED.jpg (http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y93/unimoose1/?action=view&current=Convoy_VBIED.flv)

10-11-2007, 07:35 PM
They screwed up, no doubt about it. However, to yank their asses out just because of this is a bit extreme. From what I've heard from other folks in your line of work, Blackwater has more than it's share of the "cowboy" type, and actually seem to promote that image. I don't know whether that's true or not, but if it, they need to cut that crap out, asap.

Why the military hsan't adopted better ammunition is beyond me. Hague Convention or not, this is reality. The 9mm is more than capable, albeit with the proper ammuntion. Same goes for every cartridge.

Good luck over there. Keep your head down.

10-12-2007, 12:20 AM
keep your head down and your nose clean, I will keep my opion of blackwater, as my own

10-12-2007, 04:08 AM
FeWolf, I think the entire point of this forum is to be able to openly discuss your ideas on these topics with, what I believe, is a pretty impressive group of people. You certainly can't have threads like this in a lot of forums. However, I respect your desire to keep your opinion to yourself Bro!

lew, I agree. The cowboy type is definitely attracted to this line of work. Almost all, with the exception of finance and IT folks, are prior military who are enjoying the new found freedom of a relaxed chain of command. I see the cowboy types in the company I work for as well. It's unfortunate but it's par for the course. You need to be a little tapped to want to go to a combat zone in the first place.

When you think of 9mm NATO rounds let this thought trickle through your head. National Guard MPs and other types were walking through America's airports shortly after September 11th carrying 9mm Barettas with those same NATO rounds!:eek:

Thanks for the well wishes. I'm down to 45 days on my contract but still have to wait and see if I'll do another year.

10-12-2007, 10:55 PM
I was offered a position with Blackwater, a very good one, reason I did not take it was, my wife, newly married was not happy about the idea, no matter how much the money, my prior military service is 97B Counter Intel, I was recalled back to service, but because of damaged to my right knee, I am unable to run, even a short distance. Personally if I was to go to Iraq, it would be as a soldier, and not as a contactor, after talking to many of my friends serving over there, and thier feelings and thoughts, it was my choice, I prefer to have my friends at my back for the love of country and love of friendship, as a veteran of war, there are no closer ties then serving with those that has served with you in a war zone.
It takes all kinds of people to make this world go round.:D