Remember Erik Prince, the creepy former CEO of mercenary firm Blackwater (now called Xe), who fled the United States for the United Arab Emirates after selling his company? What's that zany dude up to now? Oh, just forming a mercenary army at the behest of the United Arab Emirates' autocratic crown prince, with the tacit approval of the U.S. government.
Not that there's anything wrong with that! "[The U.A.E.] might want to show that they are not to be messed with," one administration official tells The New York Times, which broke the story. And what better way to show that you are not to be messed with than hiring a bunch of Colombian and South African "military contractors" to... well, to basically do whatever is needed:
The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.
The former employees said that in recruiting the Colombians and others from halfway around the world, Mr. Prince's subordinates were following his strict rule: hire no Muslims.
Muslim soldiers, Mr. Prince warned, could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims.
We can't see anything going wrong here.