Pentagon Outsources War on Drugs to Blackwater

RT, January 19, 2012

For skeptics of how the American government has conducted its so-called War on Drugs, don’t worry, it will soon be out of their hands.

The US Department of Defense has transferred its armed efforts in Latin and Central America in the War on Drugs to Academi, the private military contractors formerly known as Blackwater, reports BBC Spanish. Before they altered their branding to be known as Xe, then most recently Academi, Blackwater underwent immense criticism for a series of scandals involving contract employees executing civilians throughout the Middle East.

That same company that trained contractors to mercilessly slay helpless Iraqis will now be ushering military contractors south of the border to help combat the War on Drugs there, the outlet reports. With the Constitution only legally allowing the Pentagon to get away with so much, the BBC reports that the transition of control to private contractors will allow them to get away with what “US military forces are not allowed or not encouraged to do.”

The company previously known as Blackwater is just one of several private contractors that have been awarded contracts out of the Department of Defense, reports BBC, and their specific deal will award them several million dollars towards “providing advice, training and conducting operations in drug producing countries and those with links to so-called ‘narco-terrorism’ including Latin America.”

What’s more, it is reported, that those contracts were no-bid agreements authorized by the Pentagon. Under such deals, the DoD forks over federal funds to private companies without ever seeking better offers from competitors.

As long ago as 2007, the Pentagon was considering billions of dollars worth of contracts to private contractor aid in the War on Drugs, but the BBC reports that the latest deal will actually aid in the “transfer” of control out of Washington and instead put the actions of enforcing drug production and trafficking in the hands of civilians, not servicemen bound by certain rules and regulations.

Additionally, the transition will allow the government to usher billions into the War on Drugs, but to the public it will appear as if the effort is, on the periphery, nothing more than another DoD contract. Opposition has long existed to the lengthy War on Drugs, and by continuing the efforts in Central and South America without relying on further Pentagon expenditures, less money will appear to be focused on ongoing operations.

“They surreptitiously want to reduce anti-drug budget by transferring it to private agencies,” Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs tells the BBC. “The drug war is unpopular and has no political weight except in an election year like this, so the Department of Defense wants to remove that spending from their accounts.”

Bruce Bagley, head of International Studies at the University of Miami, tells BBC that the move will appear to cut out “the high political cost” of continuing the War on Drugs directly out of the Pentagon, but could create a massive backlash of the citizens of the countries in question become aware that private mercenaries are being installed to conduct armed operations.

The move is expected to send contractors into Mexico, Colombia and Caribbean and other locales to the south of the United States.

http://rt.com/usa/news/pentagon-war-drugs-blackwater-217/

  • Lyle Courtsal

    I am pushing for $2.5 tril. in DOD and associated private sector military contractor cuts. Assorted military contractors have been caught trafficking both cocaine and children. See mulitnational monitor december 2002 for more on one of them; dyncorp. the entire strategy is totally wrong; it is crafted to be a nazi mass kill program and that is exactly what the drug revenues funded; military and death squad mass murders in central and south america. Here is what would actually work. Creation of respectful anti-poverty and job creation programs actually accessible by poor people especially peopple of color overcoming language and cultural barriers; that would mean building trust and coming through for communities under continuous police state attacks for the last thirty years. The inclusion of effective medical pschological programs that were based in outpatient clinics combined with needle exchanges and street toutreachs. I did brief counseling to homeless people for ten years in seattle when we did our public health based harm reduction programs there. Vancouver BC also had a much better program, Insite, that got a five year track record of solid outcomes before being shut down by the nazis there because the programs were so successful it cut into their death squad mass murder budget down south. Here is my street schpiel:”We’re using vitamins (megavitamin therapy), nutrition (diet right for body/mind type), herbs, acupuncture/acupressure, and deep tissue massage for PTSD, addiction (trauma-addiction connection has been verified; Gabor Mate’ MD found that fully 90% of needle drug users had been abused as children; see video at http://www.democracynow.org), depression, and autism-like symptoms. Get your diet right for your body/mind type, supplement for your stress deficiencies and everything works a lot better.”
    The $2.5 tril. would be directed to domestic priorities that have been abandoned by the republicans, specifically the survival services safety net, 10,000 dams and bridges, conversion to wind/solar/tidal power from overdependence on nuclear plants (health consequences huge; see http://www.beyondnuclear.org), our failing public school systems and associated infrastructure, and other domestic priorities. Cocaine consumption went from 46 tons/yr in 1980 to 300 tons/yr. in 1993 after the first nazi adventure in budget cutting done by the Grihch and Gramm in trhe 80’s. We have never recovered as a nation from that huge violence done against our people and our communities.