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Private military company (PMC) is a contemporary strand of the mercenary trade, providing logistics, soldiers, military training, and other services. Nevertheless, PMCs may use armed force, hence defined as: "legally established enterprises that make a profit, by either providing services involving the potential exercise of [armed] force in a systematic way and by military means, and/or by the transfer of that potential to clients through training and other practices, such as logistics support, equipment procurement, and intelligence gathering.” (Mercenary). Black Water is one such company that has gained fame due to its huge organizational structure and participation in many military operations throughout the globe.

                      Black Water is world’s biggest, richest, deadliest and most powerful mercenary army, which operates from United States of America and even the world’s sole super power has not got any tangible control over this army. It is a private held company and does not publish much information about internal affairs. Black Water was founded by Erik Prince as a contracting security agency in late 1990s. He bought six thousand acres (twenty four square kilometers) of land in Great Dismal Swamp, North Carolina for this purpose. He named it after the peat-coloured water of the swamp. It now also owns an airport at its Moyock, North Carolina facility, called Black Water Airstrip Airport (NC61). Erik Prince was a former Navy SEAL who attended the Naval Academy, graduated from Hillsdale College and was later an intern in White House during George H.W Bush’s era. These days he is a major financial supporter of Republican Party and it’s candidates.

                                 The purpose behind the formation of Black Water was to provide support to military and train law enforcement agencies. It usually hires retired army men but even at times it inducts villains and criminals from around the globe. Especially it targets poor countries in Asia and Africa. It acts as an NGO or welfare organization in these countries and recruits people by luring to send them to the land of dreams; United States of America.

Additionally, Black water consists of nine divisions. United States Training Centre (USTC, formerly Black Water Training Centre) offers tactics and weapons training to military, government and law enforcement agencies. Black Water Target System provides and maintains target range steel targets and a shooting house system. Black Water security consulting is one of the private security firms employed during Iraq war to guard officials and installations and train Iraq’s new army and police. Black water K-9 works in petrol capacities as war dogs, explosives and drug detection. Black water Airships, LLC was established in January 2006, to build a remotely piloted airship vehicles (RPAV).

Black Armored Vehicle was Black water’s own armored personnel carrier. Black water Maritime Solutions offers tactical training for maritime force protection units. In past it has trained Greek security forces for the 2004 Olympics, Azerbaijan Naval Sea Commands and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior. It was established in 1999 to design and build Black water Worldwide’s training facility in North Carolina. Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) owns and operates three further subsidiaries.(“Black water: another aspect”)

                                      Black Water became defamed for its dark activities across the globe. It was involved in killing of many innocent people and numerous other illegal activities. Especially of its foul job in Iraq war. Blackwater’s personnel exceeded their powers and committed many actions that were against the human rights. Its license to operate in Iraq was revoked by the Iraqi government on September 1st, 2007, as a result of a highly contentitious incident that occurred the previous day in which seventeen Iraqis were killed. In this incident, Black Water employees used lethal force recklessly.

         Moreover, some evidences have been found of its involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan as well. Many people claim that it is working systematically here. One of the strong evidence is that some American personnel died in a blast in Deer, Northern area of Pakistan.(“Dawn News”) Many other suspected US citizens have also been traced by Pakistani agencies from various places which show some involvement of Black water in Pakistan. The authorities of Pakistan have not confirmed the presence of Black Water in Pakistan yet but it is a general perception in the public that Black Water operates here and is involved in different destructive activities which range from target killing to attempts at damaging the nuclear programme.
Initially, it was named as Black Water USA, but as its activities spread across the globe, it was changed to Black water Worldwide. Soon Black water’s name became so notorious due to its involvement in Iraq war and many other illegal activities, the company president Gary Jackson had to change the name to “Xe”. There are many opponents of Black Water in US itself.  On the frontline are some Congress members especially Bob Filner and several Environmental and Anti-war organizations.

                                 It is permanent to make such PMCs accountable to the rule of law. Specific laws should be passed by US congress which overlook their activities not only in its country of origin but also in rest of the world. The support provided by black Water to USA military is undesirable and the US forces would not have been so successful without their support. They have also remembered their services for peace in many countries which is appreciable. The need of the day is to efficiencies and shot coming of Black Water and use its potential in the best possible positive manner.

About The Author: Zafar Siddique is a current student of Finance at Lahore University of Management Sciences. His areas of interests includes Politics and Social Work. He is also a  member of the current Youth Parliament Pakistan.

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