Qaddafi’s had his own mercenaries for a while, so is it time for the rebels to even things out and bring in some reinforcements from Blackwater? Over at Wired, Spencer Ackerman weighs in on what a mercenary mission in Libya might look like:
One would be military: they’d teach the rebels basic infantry tactics, like how to shoot and maneuver, and offer guidance on logistics and command. …
The other mission would be communication, requiring a two-person team. “Rebels always need better public relations,” the vet says. This wouldn’t just be training in how to shoot video or tweet effectively. They’d bring in satellite phones, mobile connectivity tools, “means to get it done [since] the power of witness is huge.”
There’s no doubt that there could be some benefits to the mercenary plan. For one, the rebels are sorely lacking in arms and military training. Our marines are already stretched, and the American people probably aren’t gunning for yet another ground-war. A group like Blackwater would not only provide the necessary training, but it could also serve as a watchdog on any weaponry provided to the anti-Qaddafi forces. There have been reports that al Qaeda has already seized some of the military supplies from the rebels and smuggled it to safehouses, and an infusion of vigilant security contractors could reduce the chances of this reoccurring. Combined, these assets would go a long way in helping to topple Qaddafi.
A potential downside: There are reports that some of the fighters joining the rebels have al Qaeda ties. If this is accurate, then giving these combatants military training and access to weapons could obviously cause problems down the road.