[QODLink]
Inside Story
UAE: Arming up with mercenaries
What possible security risks could have motivated the UAE to hire outside help?
Last Modified: 17 May 2011 12:36


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hired the founder of the controversial US security company Blackwater, to set up a paramilitary force made up of foreign mercenaries in Abu Dhabi.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince is to set up an 800-member battalion of foreign troops.

Documents obtained by The New York Times (NYT) on Sunday showed the crown prince of Abu Dhabi being behind the $529m deal.

It is a contentious move, which raises questions about loyalty, the role of citizens and the potential instability brought on by the popular uprisings in the Arab world.

The NYT said the covert unit will be used to put down internal revolts, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from any possible terrorist attack.

It also claimed that fighters from Colombia and South Africa have already been flown into the Emirate, where its rulers are reportedly deeply concerned about the popular unrest in the "Arab world as well as the perceived threat from Iran".

Is the UAE being paranoid or just protecting its citizens? What possible security risks could have motivated a small country like the UAE to hire outside help? How does the knowledge that the UAE is arming up with mercenaries sit in general?

Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, discusses with Abdulhadi Alajmi, the board secretary of the Kuwait Historical Society; James Worrall, a fellow at the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds; and Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, May 16, 2011.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.