“He is hoping to build an empire in the desert, far from the trial lawyers” to train anti-Iranian soldiers

The NYT has a story on how Erik Prince’s latest scam–to hide from the trial lawyers–involves using retired US servicemen to train Colombian mercenaries to “defend” the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest or were challenged by pro-democracy demonstrations in its crowded labor camps or democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

And Erik Prince said he resettled to UAE because of the churches!

Given Prince’s happiness about the legal climate in UAE you’d think he’d be able to wander publicly. But he appears to be exercising the same kind of tradecraft that Osama bin Laden did to evade spies in recent years.

To keep a low profile, Mr. Prince rarely visited the camp or a cluster of luxury villas near the Abu Dhabi airport, where R2 executives and Emirati military officers fine-tune the training schedules and arrange weapons deliveries for the battalion, former employees said. He would show up, they said, in an office suite at the DAS Tower – a skyscraper just steps from Abu Dhabi’s Corniche beach, where sunbathers lounge as cigarette boats and water scooters whiz by. Staff members there manage a number of companies that the former employees say are carrying out secret work for the Emirati government.

But ultimately, this seems to be about Iran.

The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said.


Although there was no expectation that the mercenary troops would be used for a stealth attack on Iran, Emirati officials talked of using them for a possible maritime and air assault to reclaim a chain of islands, mostly uninhabited, in the Persian Gulf that are the subject of a dispute between Iran and the U.A.E., the former employees said. Iran has sent military forces to at least one of the islands, Abu Musa, and Emirati officials have long been eager to retake the islands and tap their potential oil reserves.


Some security consultants believe that Mr. Prince’s efforts to bolster the Emirates’ defenses against an Iranian threat might yield some benefits for the American government, which shares the U.A.E.’s concern about creeping Iranian influence in the region.

“As much as Erik Prince is a pariah in the United States, he may be just what the doctor ordered in the U.A.E.,” said an American security consultant with knowledge of R2’s work.

So, in a bid to avoid America’s trial lawyers, Blackwater 3.0 is holed up in UAE training unqualified Colombians so that the Blackwater guys have an excuse to shoot weapons against Iran?


Is this what we’ve come to?

Update: I edited this post to cut down on the blockquotes from NYT.

  1. bmaz says:

    The apparently little mitigated support and cheering for this effort from US governmental types sure is a wonderful opus to the Arab Spring.

  2. MadDog says:

    Erik spent way too much time in his formative years reading nothing but comic books, and since then has evolved both his worldview and his place in it, straight out of the childish heroic tales of Superboy, Batman and the Green Lantern.

  3. donbacon says:

    The islands are Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, shown here.

    from wiki:

    Abu Musa is a 12-km² island in the eastern Persian Gulf, part of a six-island archipelago near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. The island is administered by Iran as part of the Iranian province of Hormozgan, but is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates

    Greater Tunb has a surface of 10.3 km². It is known for its red soil. There are conflicting descriptions about its population: While some sources state there are between a few dozen and a few hundred inhabitants, others describe the island as having no native civilian population There is reported to be an Iranian garrison and naval station, a fish storage facility and a red-soil mine.

    Lesser Tunb has a surface of 2 km² and is uninhabited with the exception of a small airfield, harbor, and entrenched Iranian military unit. The toponymy of Tonb is in all likelihood of Persian origin. In the local Persian dialect(s) of southern Persia, the noun tonb, with its diminutive tonbu, as it applied to Lesser Tonb (Nāmiuh or Nābiuh Tonb), means “hill” or “low elevation”

  4. manys says:

    So we have Americans running “training camps” in the Middle East. That should turn out well.

    • clemenza says:

      This is surely a CIA backed operation.
      They get bigger and bigget and we’re paying for it.

      Traning camps that produce mercenaries to f__k with
      “uncooperative” governments is a CIA specialty.
      They’ve been doing it since the fifties all over the world.

      Obama’s revived Reagan’s hit squads in Honduras so
      the US puppet government stays in power while their
      democratically elected leader was forced to live in exile.

  5. donbacon says:

    Speaking of deserts. . .think California.

    Blackwater (now Xe) may have an interest in California. The company attempted to build a facility in San Diego county but failed. Now a similar company, Wind Zero, wants to build in Imperial County to the east of San Diego County.

    Brandon Webb, Wind Zero CEO, denied any connection with Blackwater, although Blackwater vice president Brian Bonfiglio was photographed at the first community meeting in Ocotillo.

    Scott Fullerton, Dec 4, 2010: “The connection between Blackwater (now called Xe Services) and WZ is tenuous but it exists. It is true Webb and Brian Bonfiglio, then VP of Blackwater, conferred at a town meeting to discuss … who knows? One can bet they weren’t asking each other about the wife and kids. During that same meeting Webb was asked if WZ could sell out to Blackwater. Webb answered most affirmatively. That is a tactic such groups employ: use a front to get in the door and sell out to whoever conveniently stands in the wings.”

    Wind Zero’s website

    from news reports:

    Wind Zero, with plans for an estimated $100 million law enforcement and military training facility, has been permitted on a 944-acre site south of Interstate 8 and mostly north of Highway 98 in the desert near Ocotillo, California, about 100 miles east of San Diego. It would include two race tracks, indoor and semi-enclosed shooting ranges and meal and lodging on site. It would be completed in three phases over a nine-year period.

    Two conservation groups filed suit in January 2011 against Imperial County and Wind Zero, asserting that water concerns, noise issues and the community weren’t considered enough during the approval process.

    The Desert Protective Council with the Sierra Club contended the county Board of Supervisors acted unlawfully when it approved the Wind Zero law enforcement training facility near Ocotillo, according to the suit filed at the Imperial County Superior Court. The organizations also claimed the developers failed to address the project’s full impact on the area.

    Brandon Webb is Wind Zero’s CEO. Here is Webb on a video and on his website.

    • emptywheel says:

      Aren’t they also building a training site in a reservation in the SD mountains, north of there? I don’t think it’s Wind Zero, but it’s BW. They could do it on a reservation bc the tribes will claim sovereignty.

  6. bobschacht says:

    Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.

    I thought this was what the French Foreign Legion did. Or are they kaput now?

    This is giving Paladin “Have gun, will travel” a bad name.

    The islands are a key bit of real estate. Every time a news report mentions the possibility of a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz (and all that would imply), these islands are always a key piece of real estate.

    Maybe the Gov’t of Syria will hire them to exterminate demonstrators.

    Bob in AZ

    • bobthecat says:

      The French Foreign Legion attempted to overthrow de Gaulle when he gave Algeria their independence. I believe it still exists, but as a shadow of what it once was – for obvious reasons.

    • Neal Deesit says:

      The islands are a key bit of real estate. Every time a news report mentions the possibility of a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz (and all that would imply), these islands are always a key piece of real estate.

      In the event of a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz. Navy SEAL teams will own them less than an hour after the first audible sounds of helicopters and the SEALS high speed go-boats.

  7. marc says:

    Another huge Eric Prince mercenary army completely outside any one’s control. What could possible go wrong?

  8. donbacon says:

    EW hits it again, BW with a massive effort on a huge Indian reservation in SD County.

    Eagle Rock is the future, a state of the art training facilities unmatched in size and scope in the United States with 25,000 acres. Marine and Navy units will be able to conduct all required training prior to depoyment. –Brian Bonfiglio, VP of Blackwater

    Military training facility on reservation revealed
    By J. Harry Jones, UNION-TRIBUNE
    Thursday, April 14, 2011 (extracts)

    Miles deep into the largest Indian reservation in San Diego County, a company with ties to at least one former Blackwater Worldwide executive is building a training facility with firing ranges, a helipad and what was described as mock Afghan villages.

    Two men told visitors to the remote site last week that Marines and other troops would engage in cultural, language-immersion and ambush exercises there, although in a later interview one stressed there would be no combat training.[!]

    A reporter and photographer for The San Diego Union-Tribune were on a ride-along with sheriff’s deputy Erik Munzenmaier for a story about law enforcement in the backcountry when the deputy decided to enter the 25,000-acre reservation.

    After heading east for a few miles in mountainous terrain, Munzenmaier drove up to a locked gate guarded by two men. The men let Munzenmaier’s vehicle go through. A short way up the road, Munzenmaier passed two firing ranges and then reached a construction site where workers were configuring shipping containers on recently graded land.

    Two men met Munzenmaier on the road. One introduced himself as Brian Bonfiglio. Bonfiglio was a vice president of Blackwater Worldwide and the main public contact during the private security firm’s 2006 bid to create the training facility in Potrero. Blackwater, now called Xe Services, pulled out in 2008 as residents protested its wartime activities in Iraq and raised concerns about increased traffic, noise and wildfire dangers linked to munitions exercises.

    At the reservation, Bonfiglio and Roach told Munzenmaier that Eagle Rock LLC runs the facility as a Department of Defense outsourcing project and that troops would train there. They said the company was leasing the land from the tribe and that plans call for construction of five villages of different sizes and configurations to be built out of shipping containers spray-foamed and painted to resemble mud huts.

    Eventually, they said, “real Afghans” will be brought to the mock villages to help their clients with language and cultural immersion training. They also said a helicopter pad was located farther up a hill, as were two helicopter shells and several old vehicles.

    There’s a promotional video on Eagle Rock here.

    Some BW history:

    Here’s a ‘Wired‘ article on BW’s attempts in SD County, first in Potrero, where the locals kept them out, and then in the city, where the mayor acted. There’s also an excellent list of links to BW articles such as “Blackwater Schooling Taiwan’s Secret Police.”

    There is also “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” by Jeremy Scahill from four years ago.

    • onitgoes says:

      Thanks for the tips on these projects in SD county; I spend time there regularly. It’s always been a huge military town, and of course that whole corner of SoCal – extending to the eastern border with AZ/NV and going north past Death Valley both has loads of military bases (some very secretive) and loads of empty land. So no big surprise.

      The proposal for that facility by Ocatillo sounds a bit nutty to me, as I would think that there are other more remote areas for that kind of facility. Perhaps, though, it easier to get the water, in particular, piped into the Ocatillo area, whereas some of the remote areas out by the Mojave might be more difficult and costly to get the water.

      Well there’s loads of weird sh*t going on in those areas, I might add. Have done a fair bit of desert hiking and camping and such, and once you get out into the boonies, you never know what you’re going to run across. I’ll check out your links.

      A bit unfamiliar with the area you mention around Palomar, although I think I might have done some back country hiking somewhat in that vicinity, too. SD county has some pretty densely populated areas, but it also has quite a lot of open spaces. And any mercenaries would just fit in with the rest of the population, many of whom are legit military types.

      Interesting and unsurprising.

      • donbacon says:

        Los Coyotes Ind Res is NE of Warner Springs and abuts Anza Borrego Desert State Park to the east, very remote, and so most people aren’t familiar with it. WS has only a small gas station and a tony golf club — great contrast to a combat training area. Indian Flats CG is just west of WS — you might have camped there.

        The Navy, as I recall, has a couple of small remote training areas in the County already.

        It’s curious how that cop just happened to drive into the reservation with a newspaper reporter, but there you go. Wind Zero has a lot of local police department endorsements around Ocotillo, so probably they were in on the training facility in WS also. Get the local police on board first.

        PS. How EW knew about this still amazes me — that woman is unreal. Or real, as the case may be.

      • bobschacht says:

        …that whole corner of SoCal – extending to the eastern border with AZ/NV and going north past Death Valley both has loads of military bases (some very secretive) and loads of empty land.

        You ain’t just whistling Dixie, as anyone who has driven from Barstow to Needles can testify.

        Bob in AZ

  9. banderson2 says:

    Listen FDL viewers, this is nothing new and it smells made in the U.S.A. It was reported that under GWB’s administration there was a secret ops being planned and operated by a former general who worked for the intelligence community. This general was getting together small groups of paramilitary personnel to go into other countries to gather intelligence and create havoc and chaos when necessary. All of this was designed so that the normal checks and balances would not apply and there would be not congressional oversight. Now if you add this recent reporting with Secretary of Defense Gates statement that he would not recommend sending a large ground force into a Middle Eastern country then this makes perfect sense. Finally, the big prize is Iran. The US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia have been after Iran for years and now they will have the perfect tool to go in and kill civilians under the claims of territorial disputes and without international oversight, and slowly but surely when Americans are killed they will then be able to draw the US into the conflict. Checkmate, all out war with Iran and then the west will control all the oil in the Middle East.

    • Knut says:

      then the west will control all the oil in the Middle East.

      Or none of it. You never know.

  10. fitley says:

    Well so this is about oil. I guess if the United States Army were to become involved it might look like we were over reaching and meddling in affairs that shouldn’t be our concern, like Iraq’s oil for instance. How fortunate that Eric Prince just happened to be in the neighborhood and just happened to have an 800 man army hanging around. What a surprise. Maybe the President will give him a call and see how Eric’s doing.

  11. stewartm says:

    The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said.

    Just a single *800 men battalion*?? Please. Someone’s been watching too many Rambo movies.


  12. Knut says:

    If Prince plays his cards right, he could end up becoming the ruler of Bahrein. Wht kind of an army do they have to stop him? He could be the Wallenstein of our age, a real condottieri.

  13. hackworth1 says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how bipartisanship works? Eric Prince was Dubya’s war- profiteering best good buddy. He stayed on and now he is Obama’s best good GWOT buddy.

    Eric had a deluge of Republican-administered GWOT revenue – tax dollars – poured over him like a Fundy Baptism. He continues to get billions of dollars in Democratic Administered cash. He is one very important thug.

    What a great plan! Give up our Social Security and Medicare so we can pay billions to the the Clown Prince (and others like him). Hookers and Blow all around.

    What a great idea! Export Spanish-speaking Right Wing Mercenaries from Columbia (Columbia – still whoring for the USA). Send them to the Middle east for BlackWater Zee Duty.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Eric Prince is a war games genius, apparently.

    • onitgoes says:

      Eric Prince is a war games genius, apparently.

      Apparently so, it would seem. Time will tell how this plays out. Clearly Prince has managed to set himself up in some kind of lawless situation, and clearly he’s got enough going for him, that he’s been able to get this far with his nefarious plans. Well, also, obviously he’s not working alone on this little project. He’s just the dude that we see; we can guess who some of the other men are behind the curtain…. Heartless Cheney springs immediately to mind…

  14. donbacon says:

    The Gulf tyrants met recently:


    May 11, 2011

    King Abdullah chaired this 13th GCC consultative meeting at Diriya Palace in Riyadh. Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal also attended the summit.

    The uncovering of an Iranian spy ring in Kuwait and a recent provocative statement by Iran’s Chief of Armed Forces Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, claiming that the Arab Gulf “belonged to Iran forever” have only served to fuel the tension, Al-Zayani said. The GCC leaders called on Iran to stop supporting protesters in Bahrain.

    Al-Zayani said that the GCC leaders reaffirmed the need to enhance cooperation among GCC states in all sectors, while reemphasizing joint GCC security. The GCC region will remain “united and an integrated entity,” the leaders said.

    The leaders reiterated their support to the UAE’s claims on three disputed islands that have been under the Iranian control since 1970. “The dispute over the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Moussa should be solved urgently,” said the statement.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Even 800 Navy Seals could not get those Islands back for them from Iran unless the American fleet them. All the Arab states and America could combine their navies and they could still not protect the oil tankers in the Gulf.
      Iran will not defend the islands in a face to face fight with us and the Arabs they will lob missiles at our ships yes but they will focus their efforts on every oil tanker in the Gulf that is not Iranian.
      2, 3 oil tankers burn insurance for oil tankers goes sky high American and Arab navy ships spread out and escort oil tankers in conveys hoping that one or two American ships with anti anti ship missiles can protect a whole convoy.
      Iranian speed boats will of course watch and if their missiles take down the guard ships they will sink every ship in the convoy.
      Just how many convoys can we safely escort vs how many oil tankers go in and out of the Gulf each day?
      Missiles and speed boats cost how much compared to destroyers and aircraft carriers?
      Iran can afford to sustain this war and take losses we are already broke. We can’t afford to lose a fleet now.
      How many months before we could bring in a new fleet? We could with a first strike take down Iran’s missiles but probably not all of them and very few of their speed boats. That would save most of our fleet but guarantee that every oil tanker becomes a target for Iran’s speed boats with rocket launchers.
      2, 3 oil tankers get sunk how much does the price of gas go up?

  15. TarheelDem says:

    How thin will Gulf Cooperation Council troops be spread when spring comes to the peninsula? And it will come in time.

    But the GCC has ambitions of uniting all of the Arab monarchies, including Morocco, Jordan, and Kuwait into the “backbone” of the Arab League. In the name of “reform”. Halliburton, Erik Prince…all in Abu Dhabi. If the oil subsidy loophole is ever closed in the US, expect Exxon, ….to join them. And rich guys in Houston and Tulsa will work for a UAE-based corporation.

  16. kspopulist says:

    Thank you greatly emptywheel!!!!
    So now we really do have a Crown Prince of the American West-Asian Company. I hope they don’t follow in the footsteps of the British East India Company.
    But that sure does look like what it is. Triangulation of goods for profit and imperial ambition. Just what I most feared with Bush’s adventure.

  17. Uzza says:

    Get used to it, because this is the future. Nation states are no longer what controls the world, multinational corporations are, and they can’t rely on some country’s military, with all their laws and public opinion, to do the dirty work.

    Al Queda made a mistake in going head-to-head with the US; Blackwater will have learned from that mistake.

    At least that’s my take on it, and I don’t see anything much to stop the trend.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Should your “scenario” hold, Uzza, then SCOTUS has positioned itself well for the role of “interpreter” whenever Prince might have some need of a “mouthpiece”.

      Indeed, “rulers” of nation-states ought be very wary of precisely who is using whom and for what deeper purpose when engaging the “services” of bloody, “expedient” pragmatists such as Prince.

      American “rulers” excepted … of course.(Wink, wink …)


    • bobschacht says:

      You’re a bit late to the bandwagon. Priority I think goes to Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) and George Orwell (1984). We were warned. But what have we done about it?

      Bob in AZ

  18. onitgoes says:

    Read about this in the “nooz” paper. Unsurprising, as we all knew that the Dark Prince had absconded to the UAE, which boded ill, in general.

    Sure the PTB have set up a nifty little system for themselves to get around the regular laws & rules of society. It’s not enough just to have the usual 27% T-GOPers, who love to grovel in the mire and agree with this kind of nonsense – based mainly on being all manly & chest beating, plus if the liberals don’t like it, then that’s enough for certain segments of conservatives to like it… just because. Plus, man, how *cool* to have your own Rambo force in the ME? yadda yadda

    Yeah, what could possibly go wrong in this scenario? Stayed tuned for chapter 2. Iran may be the immediate primary goal, but then what??

  19. mattcarmody says:

    Don’t be fooled. Those foreign nationals employed by Prince’s mercenary companies will be used to put down any violent demonstrations against western governments that hire him, most particularly the United States. Since the people of this country would be screaming bloody murder if the army was to be used against uprisings in this country in the future, mercenaries from South American countries who have been screwed over by US foreign policy almost since forever would have no qualms about firing into crowds of rioting Americans in the streets of American cities.

  20. potsdam602 says:

    I hope mercinary Prince doesn’t move a wife or daughters to the UAE. Women and girls are SOL when abused in the UAE. Women who are raped in the UAE are put in jail. Is this Prince’s kind of environment?

    Kent State. Kent State. BS. BS. Crowd Control. Golf opens. Crowd control.

  21. kabuki101 says:

    Who was that Russian guy that was nabbed in Thailand by the US a few months ago? The dangerous international arms dealer? So if him, then why the hell not Eric Prince? Is Prince not a clear danger to international security too? Perhaps Mr Banana Holder needs some more help doing his job?

    • Bobster33 says:

      Viktor Bout. Hollywood made a movie loosely based on his life staring Nicolas Cage (Lords of War). The definitive account of Viktor is in the book Merchant of Death

      • shekissesfrogs says:

        Victor Bout was the Arms industry’s competition, he could deliver anything, anywhere. Kept things equalized, so to speak. Not comparable with the evil Mr. Prince is unleashing on this planet.

  22. Bobster33 says:

    Listening to the comments, you would think the world is about to end. This series of articles about Eric Prince reminds me of William Walker who was hired by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1860 to conquer Nicaragua. Vanderbilt wanted to build the Panama Canal through Nicaragua. When the talks between the Nicaraguan government and him fell through, Vanderbilt hired Walker to conquer the country AND he did. When Walker tried to bring democracy and freedom to the people, Vanderbilt hired another army (with the help of the millionaires in the surrounding nations) to kill Walker.

    I am not worried about Prince and his mercenaries being used in the US, but more worried that Prince and other types of companies (Executive Outcomes??) will continue the damage to financially poor/resource rich countries in Africa, South America and Asia.

  23. marc says:

    The Modern sham that is Dubai could not exist without the teaming masses of Asian workers brought in to do every last bit of physical labor. The people who build the cities are not allowed to live in them but must commute from huge, squalid, non-air-conditioned camps in the desert. These workers have no rights and are treated as sub-human but also far out number UAE’s native population. It has often proved to be a very bad idea to become so dependent on people that you treat very badly. So I suspect the real purpose of Eric Prince’s mercenary army is to protect UAEs rulers in case their massive foreign under-class goes all “Arab Spring” and demands to be treated like human beings. I imagine that the “Iranian threat” along with it’s implied opportunity to kill lots of Muslims was just a carrot they used to attract psycho Eric Prince. This is obviously a disaster stamped “made in America” waiting to happen and I’m absolutely gob-smacked that anyone in the U.S. government would think it’s a good idea.

  24. marc says:

    The Navy in San Diego has for a few years now been paying hefty sums of taxpayer money to Blackwater(xe) to provide the kind of very basic training for Sailors that Navy personnel should be more than capable of doing in house. Sen Webb made a written request to Sec Gates for an explanation and Gates promised to look into it. As far as I know nothing came of that request.

    Even though Eric Prince had a short stint as a SEAL in San Diego I think Buzzy Krongard was the real “rainmaker” who convinced the Navy to shell out the $millions.

    As for Wind Zero the DOD controls huge areas of land in inland California plus 30 miles of coast line at Camp Pendelton. That they feel the need to pay big bucks to use private land for training is ridiculous.

  25. ThingsComeUndone says:

    800 Navy Seals on base won’t do much against Iranian missiles I suspect this force is going to be used to keep the foreign workers in line if the price of oil drops and the kingdom decides to stiff them. There is an American fleet keeping Iran contained American bases in Iraq, Turkey certainly Israel will join in plus all the Arab nations that fear Iran would all send in troops if Iran attacks. Never mind troops that Europe, Japan China any country that needs oil will send because their’s and our economies even China can’t survive with $10 a gallon gas
    So then 800 troops is a joke. I suspect this move hints the Arabs think the price of oil will go down soon the Arab’s expect a double dip recession will cut their cash flow and they intend to stiff their workers.
    This is not Yemen al Quieda I have not heard any real threat there. This maybe a base to attack al Queida from or a base to launch secret attacks on Iran from in which case Iran has missiles they can quite easily sink every oil tanker in the Persian Gulf our fleet can beat Iran but we can’t protect every ship in the Gulf.
    Starve the Arab states of 50% of their oil revenue for a year and they will fail. Cut oil from the Persian Gulf by 50% for 6 months and the world economy fails.
    A first strike by Iran if they are lucky could sink our entire fleet. Iran’s motor boats with rocket launchers can easily follow up and start sinking every oil tanker as the oil spills into the gulf Iran can ignite the oil imagine 20 oil tankers worth of oil on fire at once.
    Now then what can 800 troops do about that?

  26. banderson2 says:

    There have been movies made about just these type of actions by not only the actions of the US in the world but also the actions of Erik Prince. This situation coming out of the Middle East is not happening in a vaccum. There are some very powerful forces behind it and you can be sure that when GWB said we want to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. He meant anybody but his rich buddies would be doing the fighting and dying.

  27. marc says:

    “The Gulf countries, and the UAE in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” an Obama Administration official said. “They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.”

    Given the tinderbox situation caused by the democracy uprisings of the Arab Spring I cannot possible imagine an Administration official making a more ignorant and inflammatory statement.

  28. donbacon says:

    flotilla time again
    VOANews.com, May 10

    Iranian state media say Iranian activists are preparing to send a flotilla to Bahrain next week to show solidarity with what they call the “oppressed people” of the majority Shi’ite Gulf island state.

    The reports quote the head of predominantly Shi’ite Iran’s Islamic Revolution Supporters Society as saying the vessels will depart for Bahrain from the southern Iranian port of Bushehr on Monday.

    el arabiya news, May 13

    Former Bahrain legislator warns Iran flotilla would be an act of war

    Nasser Al Fadhala told Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News that it was unacceptable for Iran to use tactics with Bahrain similar to those used by human rights activists in trying to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

    “They are using the same idea of sending an aid flotilla that was used last year in Gaza. The Iranian government should understand that Israel occupation has been for years, while Bahrain is a free and independent country. We want peace they (Iran) want war. Iran should stop interfering in our country’s issues,” Mr. Fadhala said.

  29. liberalarts says:

    Can’t imagine why the Iranians feel threatened. Just because we haven’t really changed our stripes since Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh……. I’ll bet certain neolibcons are feeling very insulted that motives are even questioned here.

  30. banderson2 says:

    You heard it here first! Apartheid, South Africa style coming to a U.S. state near you soon courtesy of the Spineless democrats, teaparty republicans, right wing religious zealots and lazy American citizens/voters.

  31. CTuttle says:

    A couple of thoughts, from an Army perspective…!

    Erik had really oversold the bill of goods to all the parties; the Sheiks, himself, and, his Mercs…!

    Whereby his piss poor prior planning, a common Military malady, first, in assuming his Mercs could train raw recruits in such a short time-frame, piss-poor recruiting of the recruits(couldn’t hit the broadside, etc…), and, his Xe Mercs will most assuredly demand much bigger paychecks if they have to lead the charge…!

  32. shekissesfrogs says:

    Jeremy Scahill (on twitter) said this UAE proletarian guard story is a limited hangout. This is about Libya, Private Military Industry bonanza on the UAE’s dollar. The deflection of blame onto Iran is to justify repression of their own people who are shia. It’s all crap.