Don’t believe the political and media hype that Washington is on its way out. Quite the opposite, explains private military contractor writer David Isenberg:
You thought private security and military contractors were downsizing in Iraq? Think again.
On February 1 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report “Iraq: The Transition from a Military Mission to a Civilian-Led Effort.”
In accordance with the 2008 U.S.-Iraq security agreement, the American military is scheduled to withdraw its remaining 50,000 troops by December 2011. What does this mean for PMSC?
To start with, the diplomatic mission that remains will be of unprecedented size and complexity. It is projected to consist of some 17,000 individuals on 15 different sites, including 3 air hubs, 3 police training centers, 2 consulates, 2 embassy branch offices, and 5 Office of Security Cooperation sites. According to the report, “roughly 17,000 individuals are expected to be under ‘‘chief of mission authority,’’ mostly third-country nationals working as life-support and security contractors.” Good luck in making sure that you have people you can trust; the report notes “Thousands of critical life-support and security personnel contractors need to be vetted and hired.”
Current planning calls for 5,500 security contractors to be employed by the State Department in Iraq, roughly double the current number. About four thousand of these will be third-country nationals serving as static perimeter security for the various installations, a continuation of current practice at both civilian and military sites. Though the numbers remain in flux, current plans call for about 600 guards in Irbil, 575 in Baghdad, 335 each in Kirkuk and Mosul, and about 3,650 in Baghdad. Most of State’s security contractors, both perimeter and movement, will be hired through the Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) contract, the successor to the current Worldwide Personal Protective Security (WPPS II) contract. However, some of the specialized security functions ill be contracted separately.