Profitable Private Armies

A few days back, Gary Jackson, the president of the one of the world's largest private armies, Blackwater USA, said that since the U.S. invasion of Iraq (and the country's ensuing descent into chaos), the mercenary firm's business has grown over 600%.

Readers surely remember Blackwater from many months ago when four of the firm's foot soldiers were killed in Falluja - an act deliberately misconstrued in the media as the killing of civilians and not armed mercenaries. The siege of the city that followed, and the collective punishment endured by its residents, must have really helped business.

In an eerie commentary on what is still to come in Iraq and around the world, Jackson said: "This is a billion-dollar industry," Jackson said. "And Blackwater has only scratched the surface of it."