Iraq: Why Blackwater is Invulnerable


October 3, 2007: Iraqis are upset with Blackwater International, the security firm that provides protection for American diplomats (and many other VIPs) when they travel about. Blackwater recruits experienced military veterans, especially commandos, to do the job. When Blackwater is attacked, they attack right back. Blackwater's aggressiveness and competence is well known in Baghdad, and Iraqi police and civilians stay out of the way. As a result, Blackwater has never lost any of the State Department people they have escorted. But 30 Blackwater personnel have been killed, along with hundreds of Iraqis (armed and unarmed, the terrorist attacks often use civilians for cover). American politicians, who are opposed to the Iraq war, are joining in to attack Blackwater, and accuse it of misbehavior. The State Department remains silent, but is unwilling to give up Blackwater. There are enough experienced people inside the State Department who understand that Blackwater is professional and effective, and you can't beat a perfect record when it comes to security. Considering what high value targets U.S. diplomats are, and the success of Blackwater in defeating hundreds of attacks, the State Department cannot afford to abandon Blackwater. But the diplomats cannot afford to openly defend Blackwater either, lest they anger Democratic politicians who run Congress. So the media circus will play out, and life goes on.

Al Qaeda has lost half its leadership over the Summer, and American intelligence collectors have amassed a huge number of desperate messages from al Qaeda leaders and operatives. Terror attacks are down by more than half because al Qaeda keeps getting run out of their refuges, and, in desperation, keeps asking each other for help. There is not much help. Couriers are still getting through with cash, to buy people and bomb making materials. But most of this stuff is now getting captured, as safe houses are quickly abandoned. When the terrorists are unable to escape, they more frequently surrender, rather than fight to the death. This is a sign of falling morale. This is what the psychologists predicted as the number of desperate messages grew. For the troops, this is a mixed blessings. But as more of the hard core are cornered, you also come up against heavily armed men, ready to fight to the death. Sure, you can eventually clear out the civilians, back away and let the smart bombs finish the job. But that initial encounter with desperate terrorists, determined to take an infidel with him, can be unnerving, and dangerous. Increasingly, large groups of terrorists are being cornered. Over the weekend, at least sixty terrorists were killed in several engagements.

The increasing amount of intelligence, from captured materials and interrogations, has also uncovered the identities of many Iraqi army and police personnel who are working for Sunni and Shia terrorist groups. The Shia militias have also been under increasing attack lately, producing much evidence of traitorous cops. As a result, dozens of security force personnel have been arrested in the last week, and accused of working for the enemy. Some worked out of conviction, but most were either bribed or blackmailed (threats of death or kidnapping of kin).




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