Nisour Square Shooting
For years Blackwater have been operating above the law, but Nisour Square Shooting was the last straw. On Sept. 16, 2007 a Blackwater convoy opened fired on a crowd of unarmed citizens killing 14 and wounding 18. “In Baghdad, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised that Blackwater guards would be held accountable for what he called "a big crime" in the weekend violence. Iraqi officials have threatened to expel Blackwater from Iraq over the incident, in which at least nine Iraqis were killed.” (Fainaru, 2007) Operating directly for the State Department made Blackwater next to untouchable. Will this treatment continue to occur after killing 14 people unprovoked?
The Iraqi shooting by Blackwater guards was not only extremely unethical. This decision impacted public impressions of all private security companies operating overseas. The Blackwater guards felt untouchable because they had the backing of the State Department, which included ...view middle of the document...
The Blackwater guards were fired and charged with involuntary manslaughter. (Horwitz, 2009) The Blackwater Company got removed from the Iraqi contract and got there name tarnished. “One survivor filed a lawsuit against the company in US federal court, under the Alien Tort Claims Act.” (Public Interest, 2014) Five similar lawsuits were filed against Blackwater, ranging from misuse of power and a number of felonies. There was even proof that Blackwater attempted to bribe the Iraqi government to keep quiet.
This all could have been avoided if the State Department held Blackwater to the same standards as all of the other private companies. The State Department didn’t even require Blackwater to have an Interior Ministry license, which would have established rules. A better regulatory system of all the private sectors in Iraq would have helped greatly as well. Keeping track of where and what they are doing. Blackwater didn’t have to disclose their location to the military as well. (Fainaru, 2007)
Non-lethal weapons is one specific technology change that would have changed the course of the dilemma. This all started when a Blackwater guard shot a unarmed women driving a car, if he would’ve used tranquilizer or Taser dart then it would’ve have been a lot better. There are dozens more military style weapons that are non-lethal especially in situations where you are not being directly fired against. For example, The Active Denial System, The PHASR or The Pulsed Energy Projectile. (Harkins, 2008) All security companies except for Blackwater were required to register their gps coordinates with the military. If Blackwater would’ve complied then maybe they would’ve had the support of the US military instead of making enemies of both the US and Iraqi military.
This situation could have been avoided if Blackwater wasn’t so “gun hoe” the American officials being protected were already in a secure location, but Blackwater moved them quickly to the green zone through a very busy street. After that quick decision Blackwater guards became trigger happy with unarmed citizens even after cease fire have said multiple times throughout the altercation. (GLANZ, 2007) In conclusion, better or more experienced leadership in Blackwater could’ve prevented this whole situation.