The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.
In outsourcing critical parts of their defense to mercenaries — the soldiers of choice for medieval kings, Italian Renaissance dukes and African dictators — the Emiratis have begun a new era in the boom in wartime contracting that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And by relying on a force largely created by Americans, they have introduced a volatile element in an already combustible region where the United States is widely viewed with suspicion.
Don't worry, though. They aren't all Americans so those middle eastern folks won't ever figure it out. And there's reason to suspect that they have the permission of the US Government, which is more than a little disconcerting.
But lest you worry that they don't know who's naughty and nice, the right wing evangelical uber-nut Erik Prince has made sure of it:
[F]ormer employees said that in recruiting the Colombians and others from halfway around the world, Mr. Prince’s subordinates were following his strict rule: hire no Muslims.
Muslim soldiers, Mr. Prince warned, could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims.
Read the whole article if you get a chance. It's quite chilling. I don't want to get all conspiratorial, but one can certainly see the outlines of an oil field protection strategy without all that silly democracy interfering with What Must Be Done. But do they think they have even the slightest degree of separation in the eyes of Muslims?
And using a fundamentalist, Christian, fascist crook? Wth? I feel like this is some Left Behind romance novel come to life. (Don't tease that panther.)