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What’s shakin’ at the State Department — dancing with the devil (DynCorp) that’s what

Photo by Khalid Mohammed/AP -- Blackwater security contractors are seen in a helicopter in Baghdad in 2007. The company changed its name to Xe in 2009, amid controversy surrounding the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007.

As U.S. Military Exits Iraq, Contractors To Enter

Tom Bowman – (NPR) – May 17, 2011 – A U.S. Army helicopter brigade is set to pull out of Baghdad in December, as part of an agreement with the Iraqi government to remove U.S. forces. So the armed helicopters flying over the Iraqi capital next year will have pilots and machine gunners from DynCorp International, a company based in Virginia.

On the ground, it’s the same story. American soldiers and Marines will leave. Those replacing them, right down to carrying assault weapons, will come from places with names like Aegis Defence Services and Global Strategies Group — eight companies in all.

All U.S. combat forces are scheduled to leave Iraq by year’s end, but there will still be a need for security. That means American troops will be replaced by a private army whose job will be to protect diplomats.

Already, the State Department is approving contracts, but there are questions about whether it makes sense to turn over this security job to private companies.

Security For The State Department
Overseeing the armed personnel is Patrick Kennedy, a top State Department official.

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Contract unbecoming of a department of the U.S. Government


Triple Canopy Investigation, Deposition of Ronald Boline

Two More Merc Firms Get Big Iraq Contracts

Spencer Ackerman – (Danger Zone) – Two more security firms have won contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to build the State Department a private army in Iraq. The department confirms to Danger Room that longtime Iraq contractor Triple Canopy and newcomer Global Strategies Group will contribute to State’s planned protection force of 5,500 contractors.

In September, the State Department announced that eight security firms would share in a $10 billion contract to guard diplomats. Both Triple Canopy and Global were among those firms, which have the right to bid on so-called “task orders” for protecting specific department operations around the world. One of the first task orders awarded was to SOC, to safeguard the Baghdad embassy, a deal that would net the company up to $973 million over five years.

At the time, that looked like a slap to Triple Canopy, which has provided security forces for the massive compound since 2005, earning itself $438 million in the process. But it turns out Triple Canopy won’t be going anywhere — despite a warning about the firm from State’s own watchdogs.

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