Blackwater is still in use. Where though?

The Nation Magazine wonders why Blackwater is still engaged now Obama is President. An article gives chapter and verse of one horrific story involving one of their armed convoys.
The U.S. appears to be using private companies as their front line in other areas such as Colombia from where they hope to keep a lid on the emergence of elected socialist governments. Venezuela is being criticised for buying armaments fron Russia, but with such a threat on its doorstep this is hardly surprising, unwelcome as it is that nations struggling with poverty should spend heavily on weaponry.
Of course Britain conducted foreign policy through private agencies such as initially peaceful traders like the East India Company. Under such arrangements there are no rules of engagement so anything goes. Not that rules have effect in the conduct of wars, but there remains the possibility of a war crimes trial. Does this cover eventualities involving mercenaries?

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