The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Identity Under Threat

December 12, 2011

Blackwater, the infamous private security contractor (that is, 21st century mercenaries), changed its name to Xe, but that didn’t work.  So now: ACADEMI.  Really.  I am not kidding.  This seems to be a focus group mistake.  After all, if you want to have the image of being decisive, forceful, reliable, and assertive, do you really want to identify yourself with academics who dither, passive, and cannot meet a deadline to save their lives?  Sure, we are good at attacking strawmen (strawpersons?), but real people with guns shooting back?  I didn’t think so.

So, let’s ask the interwebs: what should be the new name of Blackwater Xe ACADEMI?

Here are a couple of suggestions to get us going:

  • Mercs’ R Us
  • Xarbucks
  • TMI [The Military Inc.]
  • Xpendables
  • The Starks
  • The Knights Who Say Ni!

What say you?

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Steve Saideman is Professor and the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He has written The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict; For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres); and NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald), and elsewhere on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, and civil-military relations.