The YEMEN Quagmire: Private Armies, Outsourced Warfare & Innocent Blood…

Civilians and rubble in war-torn Yemen

The war in Yemen – and it’s accompanying humanitarian catastrophe – has been going on a very long time now; and it shows no signs of abating any time soon.

I talked about the humanitarian side of it here recently.

And about the seeming apathy of Western media and politicians and the hypocrisy in terms of how the Biblical-scaled suffering in Yemen is broadly ignored while geo-politically-motivated coverage of other crises elsewhere are amplified. They really don’t like us talking about Yemen – they would prefer we talked about Venezuela or Syria.

On the actual war side of it, which has often been nebulous and murky, it has become evident that – in addition to US and UK logistical support for Saudi Arabia’s campaign – Israel is also more involved in the Yemen situation than most people realise.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported that Israeli officers have been training foreign mercenaries in UAE-funded camps located in the Negev Desert. It specifically says these mercenaries are, among others, Columbians and Nepalese.

The purpose, explains the article, is to take part in the war in Yemen.

Haaretz also highlights Israel’s unofficial partner role in the Saudi-led coalition’s long campaign in Yemen, pointing out Israeli cyber companies, gun traders, terrorism/warfare instructors and also paid hitmen, all being involved in the situation in Yemen.

Now what’s curious about this specifying of Columbian mercenaries is the very long article I wrote here recently on the Blackwater founder (and Trump insider) Erik Prince and his nefarious activities around the world (‘Private Armies, the Prince of Peace & the New World Order Rabbit-Hole‘).

This item about Israeli-trained mercenaries now feels like an add-on to that piece. In that article, I quoted a New York Times piece from 2011 that reported Prince had specifically been shipping in Columbian mercenaries to the U.A.E.

The article painted a dubious picture: ‘Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand… The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom…’

The investigation explained that Prince was hired ‘by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents…’

While the purposes of this batallion of foreign troops was said to be a mixture of domestic and foreign, it was highlighted that part of its purpose was ‘to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country…’

Blackwater mercenaries

Nothing I’ve been reading about the Israeli connections with the U.A.E in regard to Yemen has mentioned Prince; but I thought it was worth re-inserting that information here. In that other piece, I suggested supporting evidence that these mercenaries in the U.A.E may have played a role in Syria’s conflict: now the evidence seems to be that they’re playing a role in Yemen’s conflict.

Certainly, as that whole article laid out, this huge, covert push for ‘private armies’ and the privatisation of war and foreign policy seems to be happening everywhere – Prince has been a key part of it for years, not only in Iraq, but such as helping China to set up Blackwater-style operations aimed (in my interpretation of current events) at ethnic cleansing in the Xinjiang region.

In addition to Prince/Blackwater, I’ve written here about Dyncorp too (the infamous mercenary firm and enormous conspiracy rabbit-hole): and, as it happens, both Dyncorp and Blackwater have already been exposed previously entering Yemen to fight for the Saudi-led coalition: this emerged after fighters from Blackwater were defeated by the Houthi rebels.

As previously noted, the CEO of Dyncorp (at least at the time I was writing it) was an Israeli/US citizen with ties to Trump; while Erik Prince is also tied to Trump.

One of the reasons private armies and mercenary outfits are now all the rage was laid out in an article entitled Dirty Tricks, Inc.: The DynCorp Government Connection, in which Uri Dowbenko provides an overview of how this entire operation works: “Using private companies for government work has been long exploited by the CIA and Pentagon, who like to use proxies, such as contractors or mercenaries to fight their covert wars. The benefits for federal agencies include ‘plausible deniability’ with respect to assassinations and drug trafficking, as well as the ability to bypass the Military Code of Honor and accords of the Geneva Convention. In other words, by privatizing ‘dirty tricks,’ a federal agency cannot be held liable…’

This would tally perfectly with what I was predicting at the beginning of the Trump presidency: that, given the presence of Erik Prince in the mix, we were going to see a shift away from US military involvement in foreign lands and a shift towards a more “cut-throat” approach relying on mercenaries and hired thugs. This shift was already occuring, in fact, during the Obama presidency, where the approach to both Libya and Syria was centered on mercenaries and thugs, at least during the early stages.

It’s not surprising then that Israel would be very much in the game too: Israel is simply engaging in the same game as several other countries, using mercenaries and covert warfare to avoid having these things look like part of their actual, official foreign policy.

The exposure of Israel’s involvement (in training Columbian and Nepalese mercenaries) in fact went back to September: I missed that at the time, otherwise I would’ve mentioned in the piece on ‘Private Armies’ and Erik Prince, etc.

Whitney Webb, writing at MintPress News in September last year, covered this, however. She reported that,  ‘According to U.S. officials close to the House Intelligence Committee with knowledge of the operation, hundreds of mercenaries from various nationalities that fight on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen had recently received “instance combat training” at training camps in the Negev desert that were created through a secret agreement was reached between the UAE and Israel. Mercenaries at the camp were trained under the “personal supervision” of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)…’

Haaretz‘s piece points out the official position that ‘The Israeli Defense Ministry or Mossad may claim people who served in their ranks and are now private contractors of the UAE or South American states are not working in Israel’s name, and as long as they don’t break the laws of their host state there is no reason to put them on trial…’ But the article also expresses doubt about this position and is highly questioning of Israeli actors’ role in foreign military affairs.

Apparently the recruiter for the foreign fighters in the Negev was Mohammed Dahlan – a member of Fatah’s central committee and ‘head of intelligence’ in Gaza, who was aparently ousted from Fatah in 2011 and taken in by the U.A.E, where he became close to the crown prince and worked as a liaison between the U.A.E and Israel.

Again, that timeline would mean Dahlan was placed in the U.A.E at pretty much the same time as Erik Prince was bringing in Columbian mercenaries to the U.A.E (again, see here): so it’s probable this is all linked, though none of the media sources I’m seeing are making that connection.

Webb’s MintPress article from September adds, however: ‘Dahlan, a Palestinian, was a central figure in the U.S.-backed plot funded by the United Arab Emirates to arm and train militias to overthrow Hamas after they won Gaza elections in 2007… Dahlan also has close ties to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.’

As also mentioned here in the piece about Ukraine, Israel has also been reported to have been supplying weapons to the Neo-Nazi Azov Batallion: so its hands – unofficially or not – appear to be in a lot of places where armed conflict is ocurring.

But so are a bunch of other hands. You’d be hard pressed to find a conflict situation anywhere where the dynamics are as simple or straightforward as they’re made to appear.

However, at least the UK and US support for the Saudi military campaign has been out in the open all along.

In the UK, the International Relations Select Committee, a cross-party Lords committee, just published its report on UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia (which, for the duration of the campaign in Yemen, has been comprehensive – and included cluster bombs), concluding that the British government was “on the wrong side of the law” and should suspend export licenses.

The report argues that no independent checks are being made to deternmine if weapons being sold by the UK are being used in breach of international law, saying ‘given the volume and type of arms being exported to the Saudi-led coalition, we believe they are highly likely to be the cause of significant civilian casualties in Yemen, risking the contravention of international humanitarian law‘.

Days ago, the US Congress in fact voted to suspend American arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen: but it reported that the White House has suggested President Trump will veto that resolution.

Meanwhile, all of this investment and profit suggests the fighting in Yemen isn’t ending any time soon: and the suffering of the population of that country isn’t going to be diminishing. War is business.

And this thing could still be going on years from now.


Read more: ‘Private Armies & the New World Order Rabbit-Hole’, ‘A Tale of Two Murdered Children & and Unending War on Terror‘, ‘Yemen: The Humanitarian Catastrophe That Just Doesn’t Matter‘, ‘Yemen’s President on the Civil War, the Muslim Brotherhood & the ‘Zionist Spring’…‘, ‘The DYNCORP Rabbit-Hole: Human Trafficking, Mercenary Warfare, Mass Surveillence – They’re Everywhere‘, ‘Azov Batallion, White Jihad & the Fascists’ Plotting in Plain Sight‘…

S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.


  1. It really is sad what is being done to the poor people of Yemen. It is outrageous that much of the world just does not want to be bothered about it.

    It seems very few countries are safe now from this scenario of foreign states waging wars by proxy.

    • As I understand it, it’s one of the few issues that seems to be have united most Democrats and Republicans in Congress – in that they largely seem to want the assault in Yemen to be called to a halt. Whether it happens any time or soon or not is another matter.

  2. Lots to digest. So many rabbit holes. Can I just add that this privatisation of the US military also traces back to Rumsfeld’s notorious Sept 10th speech delivered at The Pentagon when he dropped the bombshell about a missing £2.3 trillion (peanuts compared to today’s figure which I believe is about 10 times as much – but please check this). What most people either don’t know or have forgotten is that his speech although ostentibly about a “war [what else?] on bureaucratic waste” is was really about softening up the military to the idea of privatising swathes of it. Here’s one passage:

    “Why is DOD one of the last organizations around that still cuts its own checks? When an entire industry exists to run warehouses efficiently, why do we own and operate so many of our own? At bases around the world, why do we pick up our own garbage and mop our own floors, rather than contracting services out, as many businesses do? And surely we can outsource more computer systems support.

    “Maybe we need agencies for some of those functions. Indeed, I know we do. Perhaps a public-private partnership would make sense for others, and I don’t doubt at least a few could be outsized — outsourced altogether.”

    You can read the full transcript here: https://agovernmentofthepeople.com/2001/09/10/donald-rumsfeld-speech-about-bureaucratic-waste/

    Thanks for another hugely thought-provoking piece.

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