Economics Period 2, Spring 2010
Born June 6th, 1969
Founded the private military company
(PMC) Blackwater USA, now known as Xe
Childhood and Education
Prince’s father, Edgar, was very rich and
his philanthropic efforts successfully
preserved Prince’s hometown of
Holland, Michigan. Edgar’s belief in
religion and service to the world we’re
passed on to Prince, and can be seen in
Blackwater’s mission statement.
After attending Holland Christian High
School, Prince briefly attended the US
Naval Academy. Finding its many rules to
be frustrating, he transferred to Hillsdale
College. According to Newsweek, the
college has an “almost Ayn Rand-like
faith in free market economics”
Founding of Blackwater
Prince joined the Navy and served
in the SEALs for four years, leaving
in 1996 when his father died.
Prince used his considerable
inheritance to buy 6,000 acres of
North Carolina’s Great Dismal
Blackwater USA was started by
Prince in 1997, and it’s facilities
built on the purchased land.
Prince saw Blackwater as a form of
“relief with teeth”.
Able to deploy to dangerous trouble
spots around the globe, Blackwater
operators would be able to assist
more effectively than aid
organizations or the US military, due
to their advanced, specialized
Prince explained his mission by
referencing the Bible- “Everybody
carries guns, just like Jeremiah
rebuilding the Temple in Israel, a
sword in one hand, a trowel in the
Actions to Accomplish Mission
Established US Training Center,
one of the world’s largest tactical
Developed Blackwater into world’s
largest PMC, with nearly 1,000
Expanded arsenal to include many
types of military hardware, with
everything from surveillance
drones to armored personnel
Worked with US Military, State
Department, and the CIA.
Some practices of Prince and
Blackwater were of questionable
In September 2007, Blackwater
operators killed 17 civilians in “self-
defense” while in a firefight. Operators
were also found to be unruly and
disregarding of regulations. Prince
continually protected them.
There has been a great deal of debate
over the accountability of PMC’s like
Even though many Blackwater
operators were foreign nationals,
Prince called them “Americans working
for the American government”.
Effects of Controversies
In response to American and Iraqi anger at the
company’s actions, Blackwater was expelled from
Iraq in 2009. The loss of contracts was a severe
blow to the company.
Prince’s avoidance of the media, when applied to
Blackwater’s actions, the CIA contracts, alleged
murder contracts, and a personal cheating scandal,
has given Prince a decidedly negative public image.
End of Blackwater
Prince feels betrayed by the US
government “…when it became
politically expedient to do so,
someone threw me under the bus”.
Blackwater name was tarnished
beyond all repair, leading to the
name change to Xe in 2009.
There has been an increased focus
on personal security training, and
development of advanced military
surveillance to counter the loss of
The failures of Prince and
Blackwater added up, and on
March 2nd, 2009, he stepped
down as CEO of the company.
While he still maintains stock,
he is no longer involved in the
day to day affairs of the
company, and has expressed
wishes to separate himself
Prince has said that he is
considering becoming a high