Al Jazeera takes a look at Blackwater’s operation in Iraq(24/9/2007). The ratio of private personnel to military used to be 1 in 60. Now it is 1 in3. As the Iraqi government performs a u-turn in allowing Blackwater to stay because of a security imperative, they insist on an enquiry into the deaths of innocent civilians. The Iraqis have long objected to the presence of mercenaries when their are no clear guidelines covering their activities.
While there is now some exposure of US mercenaries there has been talk of the involvement of other nationalities, including South Africa and Britain, where one operation appears to have a church front.
A bit of digging to be done here. particularly noting that in US involvement with firms with big contracts is at the highest level, notable VP Dick Cheney. Which of British MPs have snouts in the trough, not only of arms dealers but security firms supplying services in war zones. New Labour is up to its neck in privatisation and as Peter Mandelson praises Gordon Brown we can only suspect its intensification.