PPVRA
Topic Author
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Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:47 am

Quote:
August 27, 2007: Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work.

. . .

Blackwater already has a force of armed helicopters in Iraq, and apparently wants something a little faster, and more heavily armed, to fulfill its security contracts overseas. Initially, Blackwater is getting one two-seater, for pilot training in the United States.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20070827.aspx
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
texl1649
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:02 am

Blackwater; the air support a rational man would put together today. Meanwhile, the air force doesn't want the Army/Marines to operate UCAV's.
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:13 am

Terrific! Looks like we can look forward to a "Private Military Aviation" forum sometime in the near future.  sarcastic 

Private enterprises deploying combat aircraft into war zones. Nobody has a problem with that?
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:39 pm

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 2):
Private enterprises deploying combat aircraft into war zones. Nobody has a problem with that?

I sure as hell do. Nothing more than a bunch of mercenaries.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
tlfd29
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:43 pm

I think that is a very unfair comment. These are mostly soldiers that have given more time than required to go back into country to keep fighting. Weather you agree with the war or not the Blackwater men and women are putting their lives on the line every day. Sure they're getting paid a lot but I sure would want to be if I was putting my life on the line every day.
 
PPVRA
Topic Author
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:47 pm

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 2):

Private enterprises deploying combat aircraft into war zones. Nobody has a problem with that?

With that, yes. But if they are going to stick with training services to foreign militaries, private security, etc., I don't see a problem.

I've heard of stories of some of their "agents" going into not so friendly countries (under contract by the manufacturer) and taking back aircraft that were defaulted on by their buyers, and the countries wouldn't do anything about the default.

Whether it's true or not, I don't know. . . cool job though

[Edited 2007-08-28 06:13:05]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:15 pm

Quoting Tlfd29 (Reply 4):
Blackwater men and women are putting their lives on the line every day.

Point noted.  checkmark 

Quoting Tlfd29 (Reply 4):
Sure they're getting paid a lot but I sure would want to be if I was putting my life on the line every day.

I would as well. But if the US (& its allies) is going to fight a war, it should do so only with our (& allies) military forces. War is not supposed to be a business opportunity.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:24 pm

Quoting Tlfd29 (Reply 4):
Sure they're getting paid a lot but I sure would want to be if I was putting my life on the line every day.

I'm sure the other men and women putting their lives on the line in Iraq (soldiers) probably have something to say about that! They aren't making anywhere near as much money in Iraq as Blackwater's personnel are, and I don't think you can argue that they're in any less danger (probably quite to the contrary). You can't possibly expect me to believe that they joined Blackwater for the same reasons your average soldier joined the U.S. military.

You should also keep in mind that many of Blackwater's contractors aren't Americans. Blackwater has hired hundereds of Chileans (many trained under Pinochet), South Africans (ex-Apartheid regime forces), and soldiers from Balkan nations.

Hired guns=mercenaries. Period.

This is probably another thread altogether and probably a good one. Maybe it'll pop up in non-av.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:27 pm

This Flightglobal report paints an innocent enough picture.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-acquisition-for-trainer-role.html

Quote:
"The aircraft would launch a new pilot training programme for Blackwater, which provides a broad range of training and operational services for military and law enforcement clients.

The Super Tucano programme would be limited to providing for US personnel only, the spokeswoman adds, and the aircraft would not be allowed to leave the country.

The pending license also mandates that all weapons, including the 12.7mm, wing-mounted guns and provisions for smart bomb stores, are not used as part of the training mission."


One CONUS restricted, unarmed plane doesn't exactly constitute a mercenary air force. The question though is how tightly Blackwater would adhere to these limitations as the phrase "a broad range of ..... operational services" does raise some eyebrows.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 5):
I've heard of stories of some of their "agents" going into not so friendly countries (under contract by the manufacturer) and taking back aircraft that were defaulted on by their buyers, and the countries wouldn't do anything about the default.

Ah, a "special ops" version of the repo man? A sizable fleet could be patiently formed through that, come to think of it.

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 6):
War is not supposed to be a business opportunity.

I think this concept is somehow lost among defense merchants.

Quote:
"The pending deal for the two-seat Super Tucano would launch Blackwater’s first training programme dedicated towards a light attack jet. Brazil and Columbia both employ the Super Tucano to battle drug smugglers and insurgents.

The US Air Force, meanwhile, is soliciting for bids to acquire a new fleet of counter-insurgency aircraft on behalf of the Iraqi Air Force."


This latter part of the report could indicate the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B would have a tough competition ahead....

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...es/AIR_AT-6B_Concept_Desert_lg.jpg
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
tlfd29
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:17 pm

I agree with you that Blackwater employees are probably very motivated by their paychecks. But at the same time no one forced them to go back to fighting is all I'm saying so they still voluntarily put themselves back in the danger zone. Technically mercenaries? I would agree with you but leaving them with that title alone I think is a mistake.
 
atct
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:44 pm

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 2):
Nobody has a problem with that?

Nope

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 6):
War is not supposed to be a business opportunity.

War has been that since the first day people fought. Air America, Laos, Cambodia, The Congo, Liberia, etc. etc.
There will always be "Soldiers of Fortune" who will fly or fight for the highest bidder. End of story. If they want to risk their lives for some cash, why would you, but then again, Im argueing with CAP'er.

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:47 pm

What worries me is the lack of political control over companies like Blackwater. It reminds me too much of scenarios like Forsyth's "Dogs of War", where business interests hire mercenaries to to topple governments or start wars for financial gain.

Just an example: Back in the 1930s, a group of Japanese officers and business people staged a fake "Chinese" attack on a Japanese owned railway line in Northern China without the knowledge and approval of the Japanese government. This gave the pretext for the Japanese invasion in China and the colonialisation of Manchuria (due to business interests), which a few years later caused WW2 in the Pacific region.

Also remember the incident last year when several priivate security employees from the US were arrested in Iraq by US Marines because, from moving cars in a convoy, they sprayed indiscriminately the houses and civilians with bullets "to discourage an attack". They even opened fire on the marines who tried to stop them. As a result a few of the mercenaries got roughed up a bit by the soldiers.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 8):
I think this concept is somehow lost among defense merchants.

My post was badly worded (totally my fault). I'll attempt to rephrase: What I find unacceptable is private enterprise engaging in war fighting activities. Training, services, and support roles are fine, even vital.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 8):
One CONUS restricted, unarmed plane doesn't exactly constitute a mercenary air force. The question though is how tightly Blackwater would adhere to these limitations as the phrase "a broad range of ..... operational services" does raise some eyebrows.

Thanks for that article. It does put this purchase in a different light. The first article seemed to imply that Blackwater would be using the aircraft in Iraq.

Quoting ATCT (Reply 10):
Im argueing with CAP'er.

Huh?  Confused
I lift things up and put them down.
 
Corsair1107
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:55 am

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 6):
War is not supposed to be a business opportunity.

whether it is supposed to be or not, it always ends up making somebody wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.
Flown on: DHC-6/8, F100, B1900C, 717, 727, 737, 757, 767, 777, 319, 320, C152/172, E135/145, DC-9, MD-83/88 CL600
 
greasespot
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting Tlfd29 (Reply 9):
I would agree with you but leaving them with that title alone I think is a mistake.

ummm Then what are they?

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:59 am

Quoting ATCT (Reply 10):

War has been that since the first day people fought. Air America, Laos, Cambodia, The Congo, Liberia, etc. etc.
There will always be "Soldiers of Fortune" who will fly or fight for the highest bidder. End of story. If they want to risk their lives for some cash, why would you, but then again, Im argueing with CAP'er.

I don't agree with your perspective on the issue, but this is unfortunately true. That, however, doesn't make war profiteering any less reprehensible. If powerful institutions (defense contractors, etc.) stand to gain from a war that millions of innocent people only stand to suffer from, they'll only be further encouraged to use their political clout to compel politicians to use force. This is exactly what we've seen happen over the last seven years; the massive campaign donations the Bush Administration has received from Lockheed, Boeing, Bechtel, DynCorp, Halliburton, Blackwater and others are hardly coincidental.
 
tlfd29
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:03 pm

I would have to say they are brave men and women trying to make some good money and risking everything for it. I'll admit that I don't believe people should be making a profit off of the killing of people, but the opportunity has presented itself and these people have chosen to take it.
 
TheCol
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:21 pm

Personally, I don't have a problem with them. Defense contractors provide invaluable services, without them an armed force's operational ability would be severely limited. However, more oversight is needed. These companies should be expected to adhere to the same conventions as the rest of the international community.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 15):
If powerful institutions (defense contractors, etc.) stand to gain from a war that millions of innocent people only stand to suffer from, they'll only be further encouraged to use their political clout to compel politicians to use force. This is exactly what we've seen happen over the last seven years; the massive campaign donations the Bush Administration has received from Lockheed, Boeing, Bechtel, DynCorp, Halliburton, Blackwater and others are hardly coincidental.

As for the lobbying issue, each nation is responsible for their own political shortfalls. The blame should be placed squarely on the officials you elect.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:32 pm

Type into Google "definition mercenary" and you get:
1 materialistic: marked by materialism
2 mercenary(a): used of soldiers hired by a foreign army
3 a person hired to fight for another country than their own
4 mercantile: profit oriented; "a commercial book"; "preached a mercantile and militant patriotism"- John Buchan; "a mercenary enterprise"; "a moneymaking business"
5 A mercenary is a soldier who fights, or engages in warfare primarily for money, usually with little regard for ideological, national or political considerations. However, when the term is used to refer to a soldier in a regular national army, it is usually considered an insult, epithet or pejorative.
6 Mercenary is a Bolt Thrower album. It is recorded at Chapel Studios, Lincoln, England, December 1997 to January 1998. Produced by Bolt Thrower and Ewan Davis. It is released on Metal Blade Records: 3984-14147-2 in 1998
7 Mercenary is the first in a series of computer games, published on a number of 8-bit and 16-bit platforms from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, by Novagen Software Ltd. The games were notable for their smooth polygonal graphics, vast environments, and 'open-ended' gameplay style; there were several ways to complete each game.

I think #2, #3 and #5 are most appropriate here. I guess I am too old to understand #6!
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:10 am

Well look at their helicopters... they are no small joke. The fire power they can put on target is impressive, and if I had millions of dollars and wanted top-notch security, they would be my choice.

But are they really mercenaries? A lot of people who claim that Black Water is an unchecked mercenary group are unaware of what they're doing over there. They are NOT fighting the war. They're not out there manning road check points. They're not attempting to maintain security amongst the general population. They're not actively seeking to engage the insurgents on a daily basis.

The closest term to describe them is: body guards... albeit very, very, VERY well armed body guards! They're getting paid huge sums of money... so yes, they're in Iraq for money... but they're not soldiers.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:28 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
They're not attempting to maintain security amongst the general population. They're not actively seeking to engage the insurgents on a daily basis.

Apparently my information was incorrect, or I interpreted it incorrectly. I retract my earlier statement labeling them mercenaries.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:01 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
Well look at their helicopters... they are no small joke. The fire power they can put on target is impressive, and if I had millions of dollars and wanted top-notch security, they would be my choice.

But are they really mercenaries? A lot of people who claim that Black Water is an unchecked mercenary group are unaware of what they're doing over there. They are NOT fighting the war. They're not out there manning road check points. They're not attempting to maintain security amongst the general population. They're not actively seeking to engage the insurgents on a daily basis.

The closest term to describe them is: body guards... albeit very, very, VERY well armed body guards! They're getting paid huge sums of money... so yes, they're in Iraq for money... but they're not soldiers.

-UH60

I was hoping to get your perspective on this UH60, thanks for dropping in.

Semantics aside ("mercenaries" v.s. "bodyguards"), don't you think it's a bit ridiculous for these guys to be making the money they are when soldiers like yourself are the ones putting themselves in real danger? The Iraq vets I've talked to or heard speak about the war--and I should specify that most of those have been IVAW members--have given me the impression that there's a lot of resentment in the U.S. military towards these guys, and furthermore, that many of the ex-soldiers in Blackwater's employ are vehemently "gung-ho" about the war and even openly racist towards Iraqis. It's no secret that their leadership are staunchly right-wing in their political leanings (among the few companies that donate exclusively to Republican candidates--they've never donated a dime to a Democrat), so many of us on the left have some serious concerns as to their broader agenda--especially when we see stories like this.

As for an "unchecked mercenary group", I agree that a lot of people seem to have a misconception of what Blackwater does in Iraq (your summarization of their duties seems apt), but at the same time, they're not held accountable for their actions in the way you and other soldiers are. For that matter, I've even read an account of Blackwater guards directing U.S. troops in combat (during a 4/4/04 firefight in Najaf)...I've got that handy somewhere here and can clarify further if needed, you might know something about it.

In any case, I've got some pretty serious misgivings about privatizing military operations, especially when the contracts are as lucrative as they've been.
 
checksixx
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:18 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
Well look at their helicopters... they are no small joke. The fire power they can put on target is impressive, and if I had millions of dollars and wanted top-notch security, they would be my choice.

Well the helicopter's themselves are unarmed...but your right, the men inside are packing....
 
Devilfish
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:27 am

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 22):
Well the helicopter's themselves are unarmed...but your right, the men inside are packing....

Maybe not for too long anymore (at least in Iraq).....
Blackwater Suspended In Iraq (by MDorBust Sep 17 2007 in Non Aviation)
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
KevinSmith
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:00 am

Quoting Tlfd29 (Reply 4):
Weather you agree with the war or not the Blackwater men and women are putting their lives on the line every day.

And are getting paid a lot more than Spc Schumkatelly. Also they can quit.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:15 am

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 6):
War is not supposed to be a business opportunity.

Welcome to the Bush Presidency!  duck 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
bennett123
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:25 am

Apart from the link provided by Devilfish, who are they accountable and what laws are they subject to Iraqi/International law/ US Military/US Federal or US state, (in which case which state). They sound like a true loose cannon.

ATCT refers to Air America, but how legal were they?.

David
 
PPVRA
Topic Author
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:18 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 26):

I don't know, but I suspect International and Iraqi Law. In regards to the USA only as far as their contract goes (which could include a clause to respect U.S. procedures, etc).

That said, they seem to work for Private contractors not the military. So I'd say Iraqi and International law, as well as contractual stipulations.

Or at least that's what I would have thought. . .
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
bennett123
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:39 pm

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1137244

The reason that I ask about which law are they subject to is that under the Visiting Forces Act 1952, that US Forces, (or their contractors?) would be subject to the US Military not UK Civil authorities.

David
 
Devilfish
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:41 pm

Here's something which could shed some light on the matter.....

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi...1H8AAAEAAFNsW98AAAAL&modele=jdc_34

US Promises Transparent Probe of Iraq Contractor Incident

(Source: Voice of America news; issued Sept. 18, 2007)

Quote:
"WASHINGTON --- The U.S. State Department is promising an open and transparent investigation of a Baghdad shooting incident Sunday involving an American security contractor that left 11 people dead. The Iraq interior ministry says it is withdrawing the license of the company, Blackwater USA, but officials in Washington say no formal notice of the action has been received. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

[.....]

The spokesman also said the inquiry would examine what he termed 'cross-cutting legal authorities' under which the private security firms operate.

Regulations issued in 2004 by the U.S.-led occupation authority, before the handover of sovereignty to the Baghdad government, gave the firms immunity from Iraqi law.

But Iraqi officials say those rules have been superseded and that the contractors are subject to the country's criminal statutes."
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
bennett123
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:46 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...07091902503.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Apparently they are not subject to Iraqi or US Military law.

If the company are contractors to the US State Dept are they subject to US Federal law or US state law, (in which case which state). Further what is the position if they are not US Citizens.

Does US law allow the State Department to have it's own army.

IMO this needs to resolved before given them more military capability.
 
IADCA
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:11 am

What perhaps bothers me most about this whole situation is the attributability of actions of non-state actors to the American military. Regardless of who ACTUALLY employs Blackwater, if Iraqi citizens see a helicopter flying around with men shooting guns out of it at insurgents, or traveling around with convoys, again shooting at civilians, they're going to blame the American military (and logically so). The issue, of course, is that the American military doesn't have any control over these guys. Hell, a lot of these Blackwater contractors aren't even Americans! If they're using force to protect State Department employees, that's more or less in the name of the US, and it just seems fundamentally bothersome to have actions ascribed to Americans and the US military over which they have no control.

Unfortunately, the source of this whole mess is that the people in the Department of State essentially refuse to use the protection of Defense; it can be said that this essentially comes out of a bureaucratic pissing contest. The Administration, of course, never minded this until now, as the efforts have essentially been funded by blank check and the use of private contractors helps keep the number of actual military personnel on the ground down (which is good for domestic political reasons).

The tremendous irony, of course, is that we are fighting this whole war against motley collections of non-state actors not answering to any valid military authority. The US Department of State (the authorizor of Blackwater's actions) is exactly that: it has ZERO authority under the Constitution or any other statute to conduct military activities. As Nietzsche said, "He who fights against monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster in the process."

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
They're not actively seeking to engage the insurgents on a daily basis.

The closest term to describe them is: body guards... albeit very, very, VERY well armed body guards! They're getting paid huge sums of money... so yes, they're in Iraq for money... but they're not soldiers.



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
They're not actively seeking to engage the insurgents on a daily basis.

The closest term to describe them is: body guards... albeit very, very, VERY well armed body guards! They're getting paid huge sums of money... so yes, they're in Iraq for money... but they're not soldiers.

My impression (correct me if I'm wrong, but this was what I got one from one of my USMC friends who got back more than a year ago, so it may have changed) was that they also often travel along with State Dept. convoys and occasionally engage with insurgents who attack those convoys. To the extent that this is similar to a role often conducted by US soldiers with respect to military convoys, it seems that for all intents and purposes Iraqis would essentially view them as being like American soldiers, and ascribe their actions to the US military, which is patently unfair if they're doing inappropriate stuff.


Overall, the Blackwater people can do some good; their presence helps keep the number of American troops down by doing work that would otherwise occupy Army time, but they're also expensive, have accountability issues, and probably get the American military blamed for things they have no control over.
 
bennett123
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:41 pm

 
PADSpot
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:26 pm

I think the question whether these people are mercenaries or not is utterly irrelevant in light of the actual problem. The problem is that they potentially apply deadly force to someone without being held legally liable or being regulated in what they do by any other than the customer who pays them. The question of how much money they might get, the question whether they deserve respect for what they do or what type of weapons they use are all irrelevant in the light of this issue.

In democracies the use of physical force against a human being is exclusively limited to the executive power. Even in situations of self defense there are courts that assess the case and may clear the respective "defender" from the related charges.

If now the US State Department (as a legal body) decides to let them do the body guard work. Ok, no problem, but then they have to make sure they they act under some legal control. Be it Iraqi law or US law, but they need to be held responsible in the first place. Accepting that they work beyond some form of legal control is a violation of basic democratic principles and equals the acceptance of anarchy. Especially in light of the fact that the US are basically there to promote a democratic system, to promote the rule of law and basic civil rights there is a tremendous double standard.

And that is why it is my opinion that those security contractors should not be allowed to work for non-governmental organizations or individuals, because private customers cannot guarantee legal control and might even have no interest in that.
 
RIXrat
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:26 am

For those of you who are debating private armies, has anyone ever heard of the French Foreign Legion? This iconic group to this day is made up of foreigners that want to fight a war, or have a warrant issued against them. When you read news stories of "French" troops being sent to this or that African country, they are not Pierre from Lyon, but rather Sergei from Moscow, or Lars from Sweden.

Ninety percent of the so-called French troops who suffered their defeat at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam were foreigners. The other 10% were real French officers who led them into that debacle. Then there was the Algerian war. France has found a nifty way of getting around getting their own Frenchmen killed. Why shouldn't others. No French puns, please.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:35 am

PADSpot I agree completely. Good post.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:07 am

Quoting RIXrat (Reply 34):
For those of you who are debating private armies, has anyone ever heard of the French Foreign Legion? This iconic group to this day is made up of foreigners that want to fight a war, or have a warrant issued against them. When you read news stories of "French" troops being sent to this or that African country, they are not Pierre from Lyon, but rather Sergei from Moscow, or Lars from Sweden.

Ninety percent of the so-called French troops who suffered their defeat at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam were foreigners. The other 10% were real French officers who led them into that debacle. Then there was the Algerian war. France has found a nifty way of getting around getting their own Frenchmen killed. Why shouldn't others. No French puns, please.

But these Foreign Legionaries are fully integrated into the French military (same as the Gurkhas in the British Army) and fall fully under the respective military law, unlike the Blackwater men, who appear to operate outside the law.
If a Legionary or a Gurkha f*cks up, he will face the full wrath of the respective French or British military code of justice. They have to obey the rules of engagement and rules of war, just like any other soldier in the respective army.
The French Foreign Legion BTW also does a full Interpol background check on any applicant. Applicants with a serious criminal history or still existing enlistments in another military will not be accepted. Serious criminals will most likely be arrested on the spot and handed over to the relevant authorities.
BTW, it is quite possible to become a soldier in the US military without being an American citizen. A green card is enough.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
IADCA
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:16 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 33):
In democracies the use of physical force against a human being is exclusively limited to the executive power. Even in situations of self defense there are courts that assess the case and may clear the respective "defender" from the related charges.

If now the US State Department (as a legal body) decides to let them do the body guard work. Ok, no problem, but then they have to make sure they they act under some legal control. Be it Iraqi law or US law, but they need to be held responsible in the first place.

In American democracy, the power to authorize a war is vested solely in Congress. There's a lively Constitutional law debate stemming from the Vietnam era as to whether Congress can effectively delegate its authority to the President and the Executive Branch (which includes the State Department). I tend to say they can't, but Congresses repeatedly have done it, and it's seldom challenged.

The problem, of course, is that that regulation is entirely irrelevant to these guys, as they're not US troops, who are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Therefore, unless their contracts with the US government stipulate what law governs their actions, they should be governed by the law of the jurisdiction where they are. If a civilian from any country were to commit a crime in Iraq, that citizen would theoretically be subject to Iraqi law. Of course, it's not like any of these people would ever get extradited to Iraq, so they're essentially left unaccountable.
 
PADSpot
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:10 pm

Quoting IADCA (Reply 37):
In American democracy, the power to authorize a war is vested solely in Congress. There's a lively Constitutional law debate stemming from the Vietnam era as to whether Congress can effectively delegate its authority to the President and the Executive Branch (which includes the State Department). I tend to say they can't, but Congresses repeatedly have done it, and it's seldom challenged.

The question of legal control of PMCs is not related to the constitution. Even a dictatorship could impose control and regulation on that type of services if the political will is present. And I also don't think that it relates to the question how it easy it is from a constitutional standpoint to wage a war. You can "design" any type of democratic constitution in a way that makes it very hard to start a war or very easy respectively.

I certainly have an opinion about some characteristics of the US constitution and whether it still suits the realities of OUR world today. But I am not clear about whether I should give comment on it as a non-American. Although the three capital letters above are good reason to do so.
 
IADCA
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:41 am

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 38):
I certainly have an opinion about some characteristics of the US constitution and whether it still suits the realities of OUR world today. But I am not clear about whether I should give comment on it as a non-American. Although the three capital letters above are good reason to do so.

Sorry, I misunderstood you. I thought you were talking specifically about American democracy, not democracy as a form of government. You were talking political theory, and I was talking law. Of course it is true that as a general matter any executive could impose their will over anything if they have the political will and power to do so.

And I think a lot of Americans should likewise butt out on airing publicly their opinions of other peoples' constitutions, just as you have willingly done for us.

To turn this back to the actual aviation side of things, I think we need to be awfully careful in allowing the purchase of armed aircraft by entities not directly under the control of an executive power. While a few Super Tucanos may not threaten anybody's national security, if you establish a precedent like that, you never know where it will lead.
 
PADSpot
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:43 am

Quoting IADCA (Reply 39):
To turn this back to the actual aviation side of things, I think we need to be awfully careful in allowing the purchase of armed aircraft by entities not directly under the control of an executive power.

I was a little surprised when I read the thread title first. In Germany we a "Weapons of War Control Act" and it certainly does not allow private security companies to buy light attack airplanes, not even assault rifles. I know that the US are far more liberal on fire arms, but I could not imagine that it would be possible to buy and operate light attack airplanes on a private basis. Maybe even equipped with machine guns or explosive weapons ...

Quoting IADCA (Reply 39):
if you establish a precedent like that, you never know where it will lead.

That is a very important point.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:49 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 40):
Quoting IADCA (Reply 39):
if you establish a precedent like that, you never know where it will lead.

That is a very important point.

Imagine company XYZ hiring mercenaries, arming them military style (with heavy weapons included) and conquers itself a chunk of raw material rich land in another country for it's exclusive use.

We had this before, during the 19th century, it was called "Filibusterism", private armies of mercenaries and adventurers taking over whole countries, especially in central America.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:01 pm

Or even further back: The British East India Company had it's own military, which by and by conquered most of India. Actually, India for the first half of the 19th century was run by a private company (until the rebellion of 1857), after which the British government took over.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
PADSpot
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:23 pm

The phenomenon of mercenaries can be dated back to at least the ancient Roman or Greek era. But hey, remember? Blackwater? Super Tucanos?  Big grin
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 40):
I know that the US are far more liberal on fire arms, but I could not imagine that it would be possible to buy and operate light attack airplanes on a private basis.

I'm not intimately familiar with all the rules, regulations, paperwork, etc but I would surmise that buying an aircraft with offensive capability is extremely difficult. Historic aircraft may (or may not) be an exception.


Regarding the article linked in the thread starter, while the Tucano can be equipped for counter-insurgency and ground attack roles, it does not specifically state that the aircraft Blackwater is purchasing will be equipped as such. Given the way the article is written, it would be easy to jump to conclusions, as I did when I first read it.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
md90fan
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:04 pm

If it goes to the Sandbox, let's hope the jihadis make minced meat out of it  wink 
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
PADSpot
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 43):
I'm not intimately familiar with all the rules, regulations, paperwork, etc but I would surmise that buying an aircraft with offensive capability is extremely difficult.

Even without military sensors, weapons or avionics the problem could start with registrating the aircraft. Does the Tucano has got a civil certificate?
 
bennett123
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:58 pm

Shyflyer

I know that people are making assumptions, but unless they are only going to use the Super Tucano for pilot training and in the USA, then COIN is a reasonable conclusion.

MD90fan

I guess that you do not like Blackwater or it's people, which I agree to a point. However, your point is somewhat extreme.

David
 
BarfBag
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:10 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 42):
The British East india Company had it's own military, which by and by conquered most of india. Actually, india for the first half of the 19th century was run by a private company (until the rebellion of 1857), after which the British government took over.

That is incorrect. They operated out of cantonments located in towns in the Gangetic Plain between Delhi and Calcutta, maintaining alliances with local kingdoms, they never 'ran the country'. Their growing interference with internal commerce and external trade, together with their Christian fundamentalism, led to growing tensions that culminated in the 1857 War of Independence and the vicious retaliation on the part of the British in its aftermath that heralded crown control over British interests. This period also saw the British rise to primary control, with the Mughal Empire in terminal decline. After the 1850s, it broke into over 650 princely states. The level of British authority varied drastically between various parts of the country; their primary control was over the external engagement of India, maintaining trading and geopolitical control in the absence of a coherent local authority to take over, until the independence movement gathered steam under Gandhi's leadership.
 
Bramble
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RE: Blackwater Orders Super Tucano

Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:37 pm

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 25):
Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 6):
War is not supposed to be a business opportunity.

Welcome to the Bush Presidency!

especially when the Blackwater founder is a republican donater and former member of George Seniors staff. Afterall it would be unfair to give ALL the contracts to kellogg,root and brown and/or Halliburton..............those republicans like to be fair to all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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