Need for Private Guards Grows -- Iraq

Need for Private Guards Grows -- Iraq

This is a discussion on Need for Private Guards Grows -- Iraq within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; washingtonpost.com With U.S. Forces in Iraq Beginning to Leave, Need for Private Guards Grows By Walter Pincus Tuesday, September 8, 2009 As the United States ...

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Thread: Need for Private Guards Grows -- Iraq

  1. #1
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    Need for Private Guards Grows -- Iraq

    washingtonpost.com

    With U.S. Forces in Iraq Beginning to Leave, Need for Private Guards Grows

    By Walter Pincus
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    As the United States withdraws its combat forces from Iraq, the government is hiring more private guards to protect U.S. installations at a cost that could near $1 billion, according to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

    On Sept. 1, the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) awarded contracts expected to be worth $485 million over the next two years to five firms to provide security and patrol services to U.S. bases in Iraq.

    Under this contract, the firms will bid against one another for individual orders at specific bases or locations. These "task orders" in the past have ranged from supplying one specialist to providing as many as 1,000 people to handle security for a major base.

    Under a similar contract with five security contractors that began in September 2007, the MNF-I spent $253 million through March 2009, with needs growing over that 18-month period. That contract, which was to run three years, had a spending limit of $450 million.

    Against that background, the inspector general for reconstruction predicted that costs for private security at U.S. facilities in Iraq "will grow in size to a potential $935 million." The inspector general's report, issued this year, said the MNF-I planned to switch to private guards for Victory Base Camp, one of its largest installations. That facility alone would require "approximately 2,600 security personnel," the report said.

    The need for contract guards began growing this year. The Central Command's June quarterly report on contracting showed a 19 percent increase from the three previous months in the number of security guards in Iraq hired by the Defense Department. The Central Command attributed the increase, from 10,743 at the end of March to 13,232 at the end of June, mainly to "an increased need for PSCs [private security companies] to provide security as the military begins to draw down forces."

    In its study, the inspector general's office found that at 19 sites where private guards replaced soldiers, many more guards were needed to do the same job. It said the task order for Camp Bucca, primarily a detention facility, called for "417 personnel to free up approximately 350 soldiers for combat operations." At Forward Operating Base Hammer, the task order called for 124 private guards to allow 102 soldiers to take on combat activities.

    In some cases, as at Camp Taji, a major supply installation, the report says that more than 900 private personnel replaced 400 soldiers, but that the private guards took on additional tasks "to address deficiencies in existing site security."

    The United States also uses contractors when coalition forces withdraw. When Georgian soldiers left unexpectedly last August from a base near the Iranian border where they were providing security, private contractors replaced them.

    The Central Command study found that of the armed private security personnel working in June, 623 were Americans, 1,029 were Iraqis and 11,580 were third-country nationals. Most of that group "were from countries such as Uganda and Kenya," according to the inspector general's report.

    Under the new MNF-I contract, guards must be at least 21 years old, speak English "at a level necessary to give and receive situational reports," and be an expatriate or an Iraqi, but the latter only when specifically allowed. Those who handle dogs used to inspect vehicles and search out explosives must be at least 25 years old and "must be expatriates." Shift supervisors, who direct guard teams, must also be at least 25 and be fluent in reading and writing English.

    The inspector general's report shows that government estimates of the total cost of replacing soldiers with contractors are hidden in public accounting. The report notes that government services provided to the private guard force -- food, housing and other benefits -- are not considered, only payments going directly to the contractors. The report estimated that such services provided to private security personnel in the 12 months ending in March cost "more than $250 million," at a time when listed outlays to the contractor firms in that period totaled $155 million.

    In the new contracts, private contractors will continue to be allowed to use government dining facilities, living quarters, barber services, some transportation within Iraq and emergency medical care.

    Another new contract, posted Sept. 3 for "Advisor & Atmospherics technical support services," calls for providing information to senior commanders of U.S. forces in Iraq to assist them "in gaining a deeper understanding of the many complex issues across Iraq." The aim is to provide "anecdotal information derived from varied native sources" so that commanders can become aware of "the Iraqi viewpoint of life in Iraq, the government of Iraq, U.S. forces, key events and other perceptions that are relevant to accomplishing the mission in Iraq."
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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    FYI ..

    I read (somewhere) last week that 57% of the force that the Pentagon has sent to the theater is private contractors. It's time we get some of our tired troops home again. I like it.
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    I was told by reliable sources that the good operators are leaving Iraq in a hurry. It seems that under the new rules, any incident is investigated by the FBI under civilian rules as if they were in the USA and they are not being nice about it.
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    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    I was told by reliable sources that the good operators are leaving Iraq in a hurry. It seems that under the new rules, any incident is investigated by the FBI under civilian rules as if they were in the USA and they are not being nice about it.

    Im not real sure as to just what incidents are being investigated by the FBI, but I can say that all incidents are investigated here. But I havent seen or heard of the FBI being involved in any.

    As for the civilian contractors, well yes they are everywhere and they are replacing alot of us. There are alot of troops going home or being diverted to Afganistan. Believe me, im ready and so are my fellow troops.

    So I guess you could say that im happy to see contractors doing some of our jobs. An to be honest the majority of the contractors are not americans, the majority are from different countries...

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    Senior Member Array InspectorGadget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    I was told by reliable sources that the good operators are leaving Iraq in a hurry. It seems that under the new rules, any incident is investigated by the FBI under civilian rules as if they were in the USA and they are not being nice about it.
    I was looking at jobs in theater a year ago, with Obama and Holder in there I am more afraid of the FBI's shenanigans than I am the Taliban. The Global War on Terror is over, and The Global War on the Military is well underway, and the Military Contractors are the Icing on the cake.
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    Yeah look at what the administration is doing to try to prosecute CIA interrogators,not only that but you shoot an Iraqui and at some point you will be falling under Iraqui law which may end up with you being incarcerated,or dead because you are second guessing if you should shoot
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    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Yeah look at what the administration is doing to try to prosecute CIA interrogators,not only that but you shoot an Iraqui and at some point you will be falling under Iraqui law which may end up with you being incarcerated,or dead because you are second guessing if you should shoot
    Im not real sure what yall are reading, but I can tell you personally that when Iraqis get shot, either from showing hostile intent or actually commiting an act of hostile intent, no soldier that I know of has been detained by Iraqis, and like I said I know of this happening personally over here....

    If there is hostile intent then we engage the enemy, bottom line..

    and for the war on terrorism being over well just come on over and see for yourself.. Thats a bunch of bull. We are still loosing soldiers here by the terrorists...... Anybody that says otherwise is full of crap!!!!!

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    The war on terror will never be over,as long as there are countrys like Iran and Syria that fund and train terrorist groups to attack us we will always be at war.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array TucAzRider's Avatar
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    You would be the one to know,. KellyII - I hope on-one is second guessing you..

    I agree that terrorism will not be over any time soon,..

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    and be subject to Iraqi laws, judicial system, etc. if SHTF or anything else happens.

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