Faulty Defense of Blackwater Operations <ul><li>Erik Prince had a tendency to dodge questions when asked by Charlie Rose. </li></ul><ul><li>When he did answer directly, he would either: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reiterate the same points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize the efforts of Blackwater </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: Prince gave a biased account of the attacks, attempting to make Blackwater seem Heroic rather than helpful. </li></ul>
Poor Defense of Blackwater Operation Prince Reiterates the same points when he says: <ul><li>A “Strong Front End” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prince responds to many questions by emphasizing how well trained Blackwater guards are. He constantly remarks on their ability to deal with high stress situations and had Sergeant positions during their previous time in the U.S. Military. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arrogance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentions the event where the polish ambassador was attacked and needed to be evacuated. Prince made the point of saying that Blackwater Helicopters were able to make it into an area that it would have been impossible for any military effort to accomplish. His point was to show the helplessness of the U.S. Military without the help of private security companies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prince discusses the money issue. He makes note that Blackwater is paid more but do not have the same degree of job security or benefits that the U.S. military provides its soldiers. </li></ul></ul>Emphasizing the efforts of Blackwater <ul><li>Shifting the burden and blame: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rose asks Prince what he thought of the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians at the hands of Blackwater guards. Prince responds by saying that the Blackwater guards had gone through much stress the days leading up to the attack which forced them to be more anxious to insurgents. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Victimizing Blackwater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rose confronts Prince with a New York Times article that criticizes the “cowboy –like”, trigger happy efforts of Blackwater. Prince responds by noting the high profile people that Blackwater must protect as well as the extensive media attention that they receive as a result. There are more than 170 private security groups covering Iraq however, Prince makes it seems as though Blackwater is the most pertinent to protecting high profile U.S. officials. </li></ul></ul>
Tactics to reduce animosity and criticism <ul><li>Problem: The public see’s Blackwater as aggressive, cowboy-like, and trigger happy </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Release pictures of Blackwater officials playing with the Iraqi children and helping Iraqi civilians. This will lighten their image as purposefully harsh to one that seems more charitable even though their main job is to protect U.S. officials. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps them to seem more peaceful. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution continued: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create workshops to maintain a mindset of and teachings about rational security measures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow up with a press release and images of Blackwater officials participating in such efforts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackwater will sponsor a charitable organization to help victims of unjust war crimes that include Iraqi and Afghan civilians. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Problem: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Level of uncertainty between U.S. Military and Contractors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peter Singer makes note that Contractors are not in the “chain of command” therefore are able to leave when they want to for reasons ranging from better job offers to excessive violence in the war. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Military does not have such capacity therefore contractors “put a level of uncertainty into [the] military operation” (Documentary 1). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackwater should host on-base workshops and training where the U.S. military can work together with private security firms in order to establish mutual objectives and standard procedures in times crisis and high stress. </li></ul></ul>
Prince uses a Public Agentry model to relent against the criticisms of the Blackwater Crisis. This model states that a practitioner uses incomplete data and exaggerated or distorted information to distribute information through the mass media. Prince may not have exaggerated information but I do believe that he reinforced incomplete information to make Blackwater appear as the favorable side in the devastating circumstance. For instance, Prince knows the exact number of Blackwater officials killed during their duty (27 in Iraq and 3 in Afghanistan) and that 0 protected officials have been killed. However, he is very vague when asked about the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed by Blackwater officials. He simply says “an unknowable number” and makes note of the spontaneity of the killings. Therefore, he leaves out information in order to make Blackwater seem less aggressive. Public/Press Agentry Model
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