Born June 6, 1969, Erik Prince is an American businessman and former US Navy SEAL, best known for founding the world’s largest, private military company, Blackwater USA, in 1997. He served as its CEO until 2009, and later as chairman until Blackwater Worldwide was sold in 2010 to a group of investors. Prince currently lives in the United Arab Emirates. -Courtesy Wikipedia

It’s likely America wouldn’t have been able to declare independence from England without the help of private military companies (PMCs). On today’s modern-day battlefield they are relied on more heavily than most people want to admit. Many have been critical of President Bush, and his extensive use of PMCs after the terrorists attacks of 9/11. The Obama administration continues to heavily use PMCs world-wide in support of American objectives. Obama himself used Blackwater for his own security detail as a US Senator.

The current structure of the military has essentially forced the use of PMCs in a variety of combat roles that would normally be staffed by active duty military. The future role of PMCs on the modern battlefield is an important topic that should be intelligently debated with an open mind.  The one certainty? Private military companies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Civilian Warriors