Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Briton killed in north Iraq attack

Security Guard Killed in Iraq named

British private security guard killed by a suicide bomber in northern Iraq has been named.

Nicholas Crouch, 29, was escorting US Army engineers to a hospital under construction in the city of Mosul when his convoy came under attack at about 9am on Monday.

The bomber blew up a car packed with explosives, killing Mr Crouch and wounding three of his colleagues and five Iraqi civilians.

The Briton had worked for London-based private security firm Aegis in Iraq since January 2009.

Aegis said in a statement: “Aegis provides security services to a number of clients in Iraq, all of whom are engaged in regenerating the economy and rebuilding the infrastructure.

“At the time of the incident, the Aegis team was escorting project engineers from the US Army Corps of Engineers to a local hospital to review the progress of its construction.”

Sources say that two other western contractors – believed to be Americans – and at least one Iraqi contractor were seriously injured in the attack, while five passers-by suffered moderate wounds. All the contractors worked for the British company Aegis.

BAGHDAD — A Briton was killed in an attack on a private security firm’s convoy in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Monday, British government officials said.

“One British national was killed today during an attack against a convoy in east Mosul,” British embassy spokeswoman Sophie Farrell told AFP, without identifying the victim. Farrell said no other Briton was hurt.

The Foreign Office confirmed the death, saying the attack was on a private security convoy.

“A British national was killed in an attack on a British private security company convoy in Mosul this morning. We have offered consular assistance,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Iraqi side.

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top Secret America A hidden world, growing beyond control

A Washington Post Investigation by Dana Priest and William Arken

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation’s other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space.

Please read day one of the investigation here

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Manic Monday Expected in Washington: How Many Mil Contractors Are There?

By: Rayne Sunday July 18   FDL The Seminal

On Monday it’s expected that the Washington Post will debut a series by Dana Priest on military contractors, with an emphasis on intelligence contracting. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been concerned for some time about this series, issuing at least one internal memo about it according to Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic.

Emptywheel notes the degree of panic with which the ODNI is preemptively responding, unwarranted since we’ve already known for years about the nature and magnitude of growth in intelligence contracting, let alone military contracting as a whole.

But note, too, that the military itself has had ample time and opportunity to deal with the issue of scale. Recall that last November the House Oversight Committee requested a head count of contractors and subcontractors from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, giving him 30 days to provide the numbers.

It does not appear that this information has yet been furnished, nearly eight months later. If it has, it’s not been widely reported. And we already knew that there were extremely large variances between contractor numbers reported by different groups.

The situation makes for a lot of interesting questions:

  • Why is ODNI squirming about revelations from WaPo’s Priest, but not the Pentagon?
  • Why aren’t the contractor/subcontractor numbers being disseminated widely?
  • How many of the intelligence contractors aren’t actually contracted by CIA but by DIA?
  • Just how many of these intelligence contractors are not only working in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in places the American public at large doesn’t think of as threats – like Central and South America?
  • And how many of them are in Pakistan — intel or military — in which local sources report a very large complex rivaling the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is being built and guarded by private security contractors?

Assuming the first article is published tomorrow, it’s going to be a manic Monday for some folks in Washington.

Or perhaps a little farther south, particularly since the American taxpayers are footing the bill for economic development there the likes of which the rest of the country envies and will go without.

Please Read the Original at Firedoglake The Seminal

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Iraq, Pakistan, Pentagon, Private Military Contractors | , , , | Leave a comment