Tuesday, February 09, 2010

More Blackwater Contractors Than Police In Pakistan's Capital?

Everyone's favourite mercenaries - Blackwater, recently re-branded as XE - are operating in large numbers in Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

One local politician has gone as far as to say that he thinks there are more XE contractors in the capital than local police.
Maulana Fazlur Rahman is quoted by UPI as stating that there are around 9,000 XE contractors operating in the capital, compared with 7,000 local police.

Before we dismiss the claims of
the leader of the JUI Party (which has pro-Taliban leanings) out of hand, it is worth pondering for a moment what it would feel like if 9,000 foreign military contractors (say, from Russia, or China) were operating in London or New York. I think many westerners would find this an appalling prospect.

The development comes the week that the first known American military deaths were announced inside Pakistan.

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Tom Foster said...
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Tom Foster said...

I just don't get it. The war in Iraq is now being shown to have been justified on a false premise, the war with Afghanistan based on a hunt for Bin Laden who hasn't been found and a drive to kill the Taliban which hasn't worked, and the occupation by 9000 Xe soliders in Pakistan justified on the basis that any instability there poses a threat on the effort in Afghanistan. Surely the presence of 9000 Xe soldiers in the context created by the last 5 years of foreign policy, only adds to the threat of instability, or am I being naive?

Does any of this make sense?

Why. Is it that there is still some hope of progress if they remain (and if so, progress towards what and for whom), or that leaving is too complicated and would pose too many questions?

Al Shaw said...

America's relations with Pakistan over the so-called war on terror have always been problematic.

Today's arrest of Taliban military leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan would not have been possible without the active support of the country's intelligence agency, elements of which actively support the Taliban.

It's a confused picture and I agree with you that the American military presence inside the country is likely to add to the instabilty inside Pakistan.