Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Quick Facts: Private Security Contractors (PSCs) in Iraq

At Press TV YouS Desk

A recent report by the Foreign Relations Committee has revealed that the State Department plans to field some 5,500 private security contractors to protect up to 17,000 civilians working for the American government in Iraq.

A force of 3,650 private security guards will be stationed at the huge Baghdad embassy. The security firm SOC Inc. has a contract for protecting that embassy worth as much as $974 million.

While the State Department is spending about $2 billion annually on Iraq operations now, it plans to spend an additional $1 billion on the construction of facilities in each of the next several years.

In the past decade the United States has dramatically shifted the way in which it wages war – fewer soldiers and more contractors.

Private security contractors how many, how much?

Last August, the Congressional Research Service reported that the Department of Defense (DoD) workforce has 19% more contractors (207,600) than uniformed personnel (175,000) in Iraq and Afghanistan, making the wars in these two countries the most outsourced and privatized in U.S. history.

However the U.S. Central Command has put the number significantly lower.

In the 1st quarter FY 2011, the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) reported approximately 176,161 contractor personnel working for the Department of Defense.

The number of contractors outside of Iraq and Afghanistan make up less than 2% of the total contractor population.

During the first four years of the war-the most recent available estimate-the U.S. spent as much as $10 billion on private security contractors, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Yet this occurred at a time when the military employed far fewer PSCs than today.

PSCs’ mission in Iraq

The U.S. military is scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

By October 2011, the State Department will assume responsibility for training the Iraqi police, a task that will largely be carried out by contractors.

According to a recent State Department briefing to Congress’s Commission on Wartime Contracting, from now on, instead of soldiers, private military contractors will be disposing of improvised explosive devices, recovering killed and wounded personnel, downed aircraft and damaged vehicles, policing Baghdad’s International Zone, providing convoy security, and clearing travel routes, among other security-related duties.

Interestingly, the oversight of contractors will rest with other contractors. As has been the case in Afghanistan, contractors will be sought to provide “operations-center monitoring of private security contractors (PSCs)” as well as “PSC inspection and accountability services.” Please read the entire story here

February 6, 2011 - Posted by | Iraq | , , ,

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