Hillary Clinton's mercenary troops set for action in Iraq

[/caption] Ok, so that’s a bit of a scare headline, but I was struck by this story in the New York Times for two reasons.  First, it does report that the last US combat troops have left Iraq, but second, it mentions that the US State Department is going to be doubling their security contractors (upto nearly 7,000) and these civilians will be providing security, escort duty, quick reactions forces, even flying drones over Iraq. Huh? Just yesterday I wrote about the possible inefficiency in using US Navy ships in humanitarian efforts, and today I’ve got a bit of the opposite–using civilian military forces in place of the Army.

To move around Iraq without United States troops, the State Department plans to acquire 60 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, called MRAPs, from the Pentagon; expand its inventory of armored cars to 1,320; and create a mini-air fleet by buying three planes to add to its lone aircraft. Its helicopter fleet, which will be piloted by contractors, will grow to 29 choppers from 17. The department’s plans to rely on 6,000 to 7,000 security contractors, who are also expected to form “quick reaction forces” to rescue civilians in trouble, is a sensitive issue, given Iraqi fury about shootings of civilians by American private guards in recent years. Administration officials said that security contractors would have no special immunity and would be required to register with the Iraqi government. In addition, one of the State Department’s regional security officers, agents who oversee security at diplomatic outposts, will be required to approve and accompany every civilian convoy, providing additional oversight.
Wow, really sounds like the kind of job the military might excel at don’t you think? There is a reason–plenty of reasons.  Obama’s team can say “we’re out of Iraq” with shades of the “Mission Accomplished” banner far from their memories (deja vu?) and the Iraqi ‘government’ for lack of a better word can says ‘the US is out of Iraq’.  Of course the reality on the ground is probably a shade different than those two stories that both governments want to start spinning.  There are still 50,000 advisors in country, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a few special operations teams looking for this guy or that (and not afraid to fire a weapon if it comes to that). Something tells me there are a few asterisks to the story of “the last combat troops leaving” that we haven’t heard just yet.]]>

2 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton's mercenary troops set for action in Iraq”

  1. A better descriptor would be Cheney’s Chindits; the policy and precedent was set by the Cheney/Bush Administration, using civilian contractors at a much higher cost to the American taxpayer; and ensuring that these lucrative shadow paramilitary contracts would yield rich profits to all concerned; e.g., millions in kickbacks to Cheney’s Halliburton alone. Also assuring that the opaque operations by this shadow army, shielding their activities, both “legitimate” and not, could be conducted out of sight to the American and world press and public in what was, from its inception, a senseless, wasteful – both in lives and resources – and futile endeavor. One cannot but think about history repeating itself to those who chose to ignore; the thirty year war known to posterity as The Peloponnesian War comes to mind. Long protracted conflicts ultimately bankrupt nations and empires; a list of examples pages long would flow off my pen like water. In reality, at present the true cost is borne by the Chinese; the entire 1,000,000,000,000 dollar cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (tabulated since late 2001) is funded entirely in US Treasury debt, which China holds. So Americans do not feel the economic pain, yet…but the time of reckoning will come, as it has always done with all empires who operate on borrowed financial time.

  2. A better descriptor would be Cheney’s Chindits; the policy and precedent was set by the Cheney/Bush Administration, using civilian contractors at a much higher cost to the American taxpayer; and ensuring that these lucrative shadow paramilitary contracts would yield rich profits to all concerned; e.g., millions in kickbacks to Cheney’s Halliburton alone. Also assuring that the opaque operations by this shadow army, shielding their activities, both “legitimate” and not, could be conducted out of sight to the American and world press and public in what was, from its inception, a senseless, wasteful – both in lives and resources – and futile endeavor. One cannot but think about history repeating itself to those who chose to ignore; the thirty year war known to posterity as The Peloponnesian War comes to mind. Long protracted conflicts ultimately bankrupt nations and empires; a list of examples pages long would flow off my pen like water. In reality, at present the true cost is borne by the Chinese; the entire 1,000,000,000,000 dollar cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (tabulated since late 2001) is funded entirely in US Treasury debt, which China holds. So Americans do not feel the economic pain, yet…but the time of reckoning will come, as it has always done with all empires who operate on borrowed financial time.

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