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Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Stop Private Military Training in San Diego Mountains!

8-2-07, from Center for Biological Diversity

Keep Mercenary Training Camp Out of San Diego Backcountry!

Blackwater USA is a private military and security company that has been called the "world's most powerful mercenary army." Since 2004, Blackwater has received hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for its services in Iraq and elsewhere — services that have traditionally been performed by active-duty military personnel. With this lucrative business, Blackwater has moved to expand its training facilities in the United States. Most recently, it has proposed establishing a military training camp in eastern San Diego County near the town of Potrero. This peaceful, 700-acre site is entirely surrounded by undeveloped natural lands, including the Cleveland National Forest.

The training camp proposal has ignited a storm of local opposition. This is not, however, just a case of residents saying no to a military compound in their backyards. The site also is important to California's threatened wildlife, including golden eagles, a pair of which nests within a half mile of the proposed training camp. A mercenary training camp with shooting ranges, driving tracks, a helicopter pad, and simulated combat courses is incompatible with the continued existence of the golden eagles and other wildlife in the area. Fortunately, San Diego County has the ability to say no to the Blackwater mercenary training camp.

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