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