UAE confirms hiring firm run by former Blackwater chief
NYT says the UAE has confirmed no more than half of the story that the UAE has contracted with the former chief to build a mercenary force in the UAE:
A written statement from a top Emirati general, issued through the U.A.E.’s official news agency, said that the country had relied extensively on outside contractors to bolster its military, and that all work with contractors was “compliant with international law and relevant conventions. The statement, by Gen. Juma Ali Khalaf al-Hamiri, said that the U.A.E. had signed a contract with Reflex Responses, Mr. Prince’s company, but made no mention of the hundreds of Colombian, South African and other foreign troops now training at an Emirati military base. The statement did not mention Mr. Prince by name.
Statement by General Juma Ali Khalaf Al Hamiri, Head of HR and Administration, GHQ, UAE Armed Forces
The United Arab Emirates armed forces have been through an accelerated and extensive process of development and Emiratisation since their creation at the founding of the UAE four decades ago. The result is that the UAE armed forces have been able to make meaningful and significant contributions in theatres of operations such as Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Libya.
At the heart of the successful approach has been strong alliances within the international community and in part the sourcing of expertise through the private sector. International contractors providing planning, training, development and operational support have been integral to the successful development of what is a robust military capability of over 40,000 Emirati personnel at a high state of readiness.
Importantly these third parties have also played significant roles in supporting the UAE Armed Forces in training Iraqi and Afghani security forces with the aim of contributing to the stability of both countries.
The UAE armed forces currently engage a number of third parties, such as Spectre, which delivers academy training capabilities; Horizon, a pilot training partner and R2 which provides operational, planning and training support.
As you would expect of a proactive member of the international community, all engagements of commercial entities by the UAE Armed Forces are compliant with international Law and relevant conventions.
To state the obvious, it is not controversial that the UAE is employing contractors for training its own military. What could stand an official explanation, but does not receive one, is the formation of a mercenary force.
There is an Abdulah Alhamiri (UAE national) held at Gitmo.