U.S. Troops Leave Iraq and Get Replaced by 1,000s of Contractors

When President Barack Obama announced that all U.S. military forces will be withdrawn from Iraq before the end of 2011, it appeared to be the end of an era. However, in reality, thousands of Americans will be staying behind in the volatile country.

Once the U.S. military pulls out the remaining 41,000 troops in Iraq, the State Department will ramp up its own force of private security contractors, which is about 3,000 in size right now. By the end of January it’s expected to be 5,500. These guards will be supported by another 4,500 “general life support” contractors who will take care of food, medical services and other needs.
Among the financial winners in the new arrangement are Triple Canopy, which has a $1.5 billion contract to protect State Department official in Iraq; SOC Incorporated, which will protect the U.S. embassy in Baghdad for up to $974 million; and Global Strategies Group, which has a $410 million contract to guard the U.S. consulate in Basra. Contracts to protect other consulates in Iraq are still out for bidding.
American diplomats predict the number of foreign contractors employed by the State Department will decrease over the next three to five years. This change will be due to the U.S. hiring more local Iraqis and an improved security situation in Iraq.
It almost goes without saying the CIA will also maintain a significant presence after the troops are gone.

1 Comment

  1. Wow. Educational stats. I was in Baghdad recently. I LOVE that city. I’m excited for peace to grow, hope to rise, and the nation to flourish.

    : )

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