Frontier Services Group (FSG) chairman Erik Prince is offering military style training to private Chinese security forces. The idea is to rain retired Chinese soldiers to protect China’s global corporate interests. According to FSG, their training would “help non-military personnel provide close protection security, without the use of arms.” And if arms aren’t involved, FSG doesn’t break American law prohibiting export of military services or equipment to China.
If Erik Prince’s name sounds familiar, it should. He is the founder of Blackwater, a private military contracting company synonymous with the Iraq War. From 1997 to 2010, Blackwater made 2 billion dollars in government contracts. Blackwater contractors were charged with gun running and murder. He is also the brother of now Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
First of all, why would you offer an “unarmed” protection service? And why would China want those services? And how will those skills be used? And why would an American firm provide training for an economic and military rival? Unless firearms training is included, this training is useless.
China is experiencing rapid economic expansion in Africa. That expansion needs protection, and not the unarmed kind. China’s military can’t protect those assets, but a cadre of trained contractors/mercenaries can. These contractors/mercenaries wouldn’t be answerable That cadre can also be used against American interests.
A politically well-connected entrepreneur collaborating with a country that has a terrible human rights record to training mercenaries. What can go wrong