Let’s just hire an army

Just because our Armed Forces must be out of Iraq by 2011 doesn’t mean we can’t still fight there.

This is because the State Department is planning on having it own private army in Iraq. If this were proposed in the Bush administration the few liberals left in this country still capable of outrage would be white with rage. But I suppose it is not even insightful any longer to point out how much like the Bush administration our current leaders are.

Warren P. Strobel of the McClatchy Newspapers wrote a piece on July 21 which you can see in, of all places Stars and Stripes, that explains how the State Department plans on having its own private army in little more than a year “driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance.” You don’t suppose we built the largest American embassy in the world in Baghdad (plus “five consulate-like ‘Enduring Presence Posts’ in the Iraqi hinterlands”) because we expected to have a lot of diplomatic business, did you? This is all part of Operation Enduring Presence. It doesn’t matter that we agreed with Iraq to withdraw our forces. It doesn’t matter that we voted against the candidate who said we could be in Iraq for 100 years. Nothing matters. For some reason, forces beyond the control of our government and its people are make us incapable of leaving Iraq to the Iraqis.

The planned private security detachment will more than double the security contractors from 2,700 to between 6,000 and 7,000. But there is nothing to worry about assures the State Department”s management guy. “‘This is a major endeavor, and it is without precedent, I believe,’ said Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, the department’s top management official, who’s seen 37 years of management challenges. … In the interview, Kennedy defended the decision to use contractors to operate military assets. The State Department doesn’t have enough Diplomatic Security agents to do the job, and it makes little sense to undertake a mammoth hiring effort for a temporary need, he said. ‘This is the kind of surge activity that it seems very, very logical to use contractors for,’ he said.”

How much harm could 7,000 private security contractors with Black Hawk helicopters, surveillance systems and armored vehicles do? I sure hope they contract with some really experienced firm. Maybe like Xe Services LLC. After all, no one ever said that that firm operated “with reckless disregard to Iraqi life.” And even if someone did say that, it’s no reason not to let them do what they are good at.

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