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Private Security in Iraq Face Tighter Rules

December 6th, 2007 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON — Top officials in the State Department and the Pentagon have agreed to new rules governing security contractors in Iraq, following a number of incidents that have come to light about alleged rogue activity by private armed guards on the U.S. payroll.

FOX News confirms that a meeting is scheduled for today to finalize the agreement that will set out broad regulations on when guards can use deadly force, incident reporting, investigations, accountability and force coordination.

Public scrutiny on private contractors heightened after a deadly Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad involving guards from the Blackwater firm that ended in the deaths of at least 17 Iraqi civilians. Blackwater is a State Department contractor, and has been under separate rules from Defense Department contractors.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte are the officials in Washington that are expected to finalize the agreement, but sources the agreement has the approval also of the most influential U.S. officials in Iraq, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multinational Forces in Iraq.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the agreement flows from an October agreement between Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Under the agreement, State Department security contractors like Blackwater would have to coordinate with Defense Department operations, and they would have to meet minimum training standards, the Times said.

Full Story Here:
Private Security Guards in Iraq to Face Tighter Rules

Contractors would have to meet minimum training standards?? Who are these guys trying to fool?? Who do you think trains the guys that go into the private security field in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and many other places around the world??

Well, it’s the U.S. military for the most part, and likely the Brits have a few on hand, as well as the Aussies, these private security contractors aren’t your run of the mill ‘rent a cop’ that the connotation security contractor brings to mind, these guys and gals, and yeah, there are a few gals involved, they are highly trained and skilled professionals, many were Special Forces, SEALS, Marine Recon and other spec/ops types before joining companies like Blackwater USA…

These folks make $100K a year clear, minimum, and depending upon your particular specialty, you can make more, a lot more, they’re not some old guy that’s the night watchman at the gate of a construction site, they are soldiers of fortune and they work for the highest bidder, they specialize in personal protection, body guards work, offensive and defensive combat operations, heavy weapons and small arms, explosive ordinance, covert operations, insertions and extractions, airborne and many other specialties that the average U.S. soldier doesn’t even get trained for…

I have known young troops that have recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq and were looking for work and I have had them ask me, do you mind putting in a word for me or can you give me a recommendation, and I have to ask them, what was your specialty??

And nearly 100% of the time the answer I get is, I am an 0311, I am an infantryman, and sorry to say, in Spec/Ops, that doesn’t make a hill of beans, infantrymen are a dime a dozen right now, as folks leave the service they have dreams of becoming one of those Spec/Ops guys and making the big bucks, but unless they are some kind of highly trained specialist, there’s not a Spec/Ops recruiter that will be able to help them, and if they are a Spec/Ops kind of guy and they’re about to get out of the military, they’ve been highly recruited already…

Security contractors would have to meet minimum training standards?? The State Dept. better take another look, most private security contractors ARE the standard…

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8 Responses to “Private Security in Iraq Face Tighter Rules”

  1. comment number 1 by: Tom

    I thought Blackwater and other contractors DID hire non-Special Ops people though. It may not be many but I recall hearing about one guy who was a police officer here in the US and he ended up being a private military contractor in Iraq. Maybe that was at the ultra-corrupt Custer Battles.

    I don’t even think the companies care, to be honest. They just want more bodies so that they can charge the US government $500,000/person/year or whatever they charge (do we even know?).

    All US gov’t organizations that use Private Military Contractors should put a clause in their contracts indicating that if the PMC hires a US soldier who has been out of the service for, say, less than 1 year, must pay a training fee ($100,000?) to the US gov’t since we trained the soldiers with our tax dollars.

    Who am I fooling though? They’d just cost plus it. Or they’d just hire cheaper foreign contractors. Or they’ll setup a shell company, hire the mercenary as a independent contractor to get around the loophole and then kick the mercenary to the curb when he gets his brains rattled by an IED.

    The whole structure breeds corruption and recklessness.

  2. comment number 2 by: TexasFred

    Tom, I don’t think I used the word EXCLUSIVE in this, and the only company I mentioned by name was BlackwaterUSA… 

    But if they (Blackwater) did hire an ex-cop it was quite likely that he had skill(s) they needed, as I DID say, shooters are a dime a dozen, specialists get the jobs, the good ones…

    If you have some linked info to the contrary, I’d like to see it but I have most of Blackwater’s training process documented and it can be seen here: Welcome to Blackwater USA

    Yeah, I know, it’s all just company propaganda… Whatever…

  3. comment number 3 by: Mad Irishman


    Agree wholeheartedly with ye post. In fact I can back it up with FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE.

    The Standard? Hell , Most EXCEED the standard…in many cases..that IS THE CRITERIA.



  4. comment number 4 by: TexasFred

    MI, I can’t go into a lot of detail but yeah, I know it’s right too… Those guys ARE the standard…

    Then there’s ’shooters’, they give us ALL a bad name…

  5. comment number 5 by: TexasFred

    Here’s a prime example of a job search that requires a PROFESSIONAL, and you can’t let personal politics get in the way, but look at the time in country and the financial payback…

    US-WA-Palestine-Palestinian Mobile Training Team

  6. comment number 6 by: BobF

    Tom, go to most any military instillation and you will find civilians working for private contractors, especially on USAF bases. One day we were wearing military uniforms and the next day we’re working for private companies, contracted out to do the very same thing we did as active duty.

    That’s probably the biggest recruitment “carrot”: We’ll train you for your future civilian job. Us aircraft mechanics, pilots, air traffic controllers, med tech, etc got our training for the civilian world, why not the Special OPs guys?

  7. comment number 7 by: gunz

    Political correctness in disguise bro, going to put the shackles on them too.

  8. comment number 8 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    If you ask someone their MOS and you receive a blank stare, that’s a clue. And for those who are RIF’d, BobF speaks the truth. And it’s true in the cop world as well. One day a full-timer, next day a retireee with no benefits but an hourly wage doing PRECISELY the same thing. In my department they are called On-Calls. And they’ve had exactly the same training as me. And they too must attend CPT when I do. If contractually some don’t like Blackwater’s training, then they must dislike our basic military training.