If a jade mine in Myanmar, or a “re-education camp” in China’s Xinjiang Province were a football team, Erik Prince might describe himself as the Defensive Coordinator. That’s the impression left by the sales pitch for FSG (Myanmar), which lists Prince as executive director and a deputy chairman of the board.
“Integrating security, logistics and insurance services into customized solutions,” are what the company says it does. More specifically FSG promises to “mitigate risks and threats from all aspects to ensure the success and safety of a project, its personnel and assets.
How does FSG do this? Through “Secure and efficient movement of cargo and personnel to all destinations, in all environments and meet all requirements.”
But FSG in Myanmar promises more than just safe delivery of cargo. The literal bottom line of their sales pitch says, “FSG will protect clients from every eventuality.”
Some have questioned FSG’s business partners and its client list, in Myanmar, and elsewhere, where a slightly different brand — FRG — is engaged. The Hong Kong-based Frontier Resource Group lists Erik Prince as founder and chairman and it funds, and through subsidiaries, serves a bunch of Chinese firms in extractive industries in Africa.
These Africa-based firms, like a jade-mining company linked to FSG in Myanmar have been accused of bad labor practices and worse environmental damage. Protecting them, critics have charged, involves more than just a defensive shell.
And, critics claim, again, the training centers FSG and FRG have been setting up for the Chinese security services in Xinjiang to prepare personnel for the severe repression, some call it genocide, being visited on the province’s Uighur majority and other ethnic minorities that practice Islam. The Beijing government talks about those security forces as if they were involved in just securing and protecting the province, but few believe that, “we just play defense, “claim, either…
But it is in Libya, where Erik Prince stands charged by an investigative team from the United Nations with supplying weapons and mercenary fighters to the rebel “field marshal” Khalifa Hiftar. And, according to documents published by the U.N. team, Prince proposed services to Hiftar that included going on the offense, with a hit team of killers to be hired to exterminate the “field marshal’s” enemies.
If these charges hold up, and Prince denies them all, Erik Prince, who is most famous as the founder of the Blackwater military services company whose four gunmen were pardoned by President Trump for the massacre of 17 civilians — including women and children — in Iraq, could face U.N. sanctions and possible criminal prosecution in the U.S.
David Isenberg is an independent researcher and writer on U.S. military, foreign policy, and national and international security issues. He a senior analyst with the online geopolitical consultancy Wikistrat and is a U.S. Navy veteran. “He is the author of Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq”. His blog, The PMSC Observer, focuses on private military and security contracting, a subject he has testified on to Congress.