controversial US security company Blackwater, to set up a paramilitary
force made up of foreign mercenaries in Abu Dhabi.
Blackwater founder Erik Prince is to set up an 800-member battalion of foreign troops.
Documents obtained by The New York Times (NYT) on Sunday showed the crown prince of Abu Dhabi being behind the $529m deal.
It is a contentious move, which raises questions about loyalty, the role
of citizens and the potential instability brought on by the popular
uprisings in the Arab world.
The NYT said the covert unit will be used to put down internal revolts,
defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from any possible terrorist attack.
It also claimed that fighters from Colombia and South Africa have
already been flown into the Emirate, where its rulers are reportedly
deeply concerned about the popular unrest in the “Arab world as well as
the perceived threat from Iran”.
Is the UAE being paranoid or just protecting its citizens? What possible
security risks could have motivated a small country like the UAE to
hire outside help? How does the knowledge that the UAE is arming up with
mercenaries sit in general?