Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

US Downsizing Operations in Iraq

The Turkish Weekly Tuesday, 7 August 2012

From its sprawling, $750 million embassy in Baghdad – the largest, most expensive American diplomatic mission in the world – Washington had hoped for a cozy relationship with the Iraqi government, forged after a U.S.-led military coalition ousted former president Saddam Hussein.

But in the seven months since the United States withdrew its combat forces from Iraq, U.S. relations with Baghdad have deteriorated as Iraqi insurgents have carried out a major attack at least once a month.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing violence that included coordinated bombings and gunbattles on July 23 unleashed by Iraq’s al-Qaida affiliate.

​​As American influence in Iraq has ebbed to its lowest point in years, and with Iraq in political turmoil, the Obama administration recently announced large reductions to the size and scope of its mission in a country less willing to accept a significant American footprint.

These include plans to slash the huge diplomatic presence it had envisioned for Iraq by one-third, drastically pare down a highly-touted but deeply unpopular police training program and close its consulate in Kirkuk.

Please read the entire article here

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, USAID | , , , , , | Leave a comment

If State Dept Is Not Cancelling Iraqi Police Training Program, Why Is Its Contractor Packing Up?

Excerpts from:  DiploPundit  May 16, 2012

Last week, NYT reported that the U.S. May Scrap Costly Efforts to Train Iraqi Police. We blogged about it in State Dept May Dump Multi-Billion Dollar Iraqi Police Program; Noooooooo! Not So Says Embassy Baghdad.

During the Daily Press Briefing of May 14, the State Department Spokesperson clarified that “we have no intention to cancel our police training program in Iraq,” and told reporters that the department “had considerable difficulties with that story.”

If that is so, how come it has not requested a retraction of this NYT story? But more to the point, why it its contractor handling the police training program in Iraq, packing up?

Either the NYT got this right or the NYT got this wrong.

And while State is working on “that set of issues” we heard from an official familiar with the program both under DOD and State that the contractor for the Police Development Program is packing up and will be out of there by this summer.

“If DoS intends to continue the program, they had better let the primary contractor know this because it is shuttering their operation as we speak.”

Our source says that there are less than 50 police trainers currently working under this contract, and by August 2012, all of them, will leave Iraq and finally end their embassy compound sequestration.

Somebody please send this tip to the spokespersons in Foggy Bottom and the US Embassy in Baghdad, in case this item was deemed “need to know.”

Please read the entire post at DiploPundit

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, State Department | , , , , , | Leave a comment