The Director of Greystone, Ltd., Chris Burgess, contacted me regarding the previous post, "101 Uses of an Offshore Special Forces Unit." He wrote to clarify and made no requests for changes. In the interest of fairness, I'm publishing his comments and an apology and I did make some changes to the post in question. He writes:
[Y]ou assert that Greystone will market services "U.S. interests be damned." Beyond the fact that our compliance with U.S. export regulations precludes this possibility, Greystone is firmly committed to supporting U.S. interests and only provides support to friendly foreign-nation clients.
I"ll fall on my Ka-Bar on this one. I was wrong to have written "U.S. interests be damned" and I have deleted it from the post. This was too flippant. The parent company, Blackwater, has been very careful to act only within US interests. Those who I know who have worked for it are very patriotic and that aside, the firm has over a half-billion dollars of USG contracts riding on not crossing this line. That's Blackwater. Now with Greystone, I have every reason to believe that what their Director writes is true. The finer point, which I was thinking when I wrote the quip, was about how easy it is to stumble over US interests in grey areas where it is not so clearly defined and it is evolving. This is a much more complex issue that deserves more serious treatment. My apologies to Greystone.
Mr. Burgess also writes:
Your March 6, 2007 blog entry asserts that Greystone is not subject to U.S. export and sanctions restrictions. To the contrary, Greystone is subject to DDTC jurisdiction and regulation, pursuant to Part 120 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), by virtue of the fact that it employs U.S. citizens. In point of fact, the relevant management entity is a U.S.-registered exporter, and required licensing is sought prior to performance of any regulated contract.
What I have been able to determine conclusively, is that Blackwater needs to raise its minimum job requirements for its open position for an export compliance officer. This stuff is dense. A high school diploma and less than a year's experience is not adequate preparation to sift through the regs I'm slogging through right now and to perform the duties listed in the current job posting.
(1.) under what conditions are contracts of a foreign person, as defined by the DDTC, subject to DDTC?
(2.) how does the employment of US citizens affect the classification of a corporation that is otherwise classified as a foreign person under the DDTC?
High school and less than a year's experience would be the educational and experience level I would look for in someone I had to have around to point to at RFP time, but wanted to be able to steamroll as needed. It's the background level in a paraprofessional that you want when you want to be able to control those PITA positions that can drive you nuts like QA and safety. However, to be done correctly, IMHO, such a position requires a professional with a law degree.