Blackwater. Now known as Academi. Once known as Xe Services. A private military company. One of many PMCs very active in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first decade of this century. One of many employers of "security contractors" contracted by the Department of Defense, or State Department, or the CIA to work alongside - or sometimes in place of - active military personnel in war zones around the world. What, exactly, do companies like Blackwater do? Is it a good or bad idea to privatize the military? Are PMCs a new thing? When did they become part of the military-industrial complex? We explore these questions and more and also dig into the life of Erik Prince and his family. Erik launched Blackwater, and he and his family seem to be just as controversial as the PMC he ran. A LOT to unpack here today. Hope you find it as interesting as I do.
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