Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blackwater May Chose Not to Renew Their Contract in Iraq

Now that steps are being taken to reign in the ungoverned actions of paramilitary organizations in Iraq, Iraqi citizens may only be asked to suffer Blackwater USA's presence until May 2008. This is not because the US State Department has come to its senses about the use of mercenaries in politically and culturally sensitive regions, or because of Blackwater's questionable history of overkill, but because Blackwater may chose not to seek a contract renewal.


excerpt from:
Blackwater likely to be out of Iraq

WASHINGTON - A State Department review of private security guards for diplomats in Iraq is unlikely to recommend firing Blackwater USA over the deaths of 17 Iraqis last month, but the company probably is on the way out of that job, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Blackwater's work escorting U.S. diplomats outside the protected Green Zone in Baghdad expires in May, one official said, and other officials told The Associated Press they expect the North Carolina company will not continue to work for the embassy after that.

It is likely that Blackwater does not compete to keep the job, one official said. Blackwater probably will not be fired outright or even "eased out," the official added, but there is a mutual feeling that the Sept. 16 shooting deaths mean the company cannot continue in its current role.

State Department officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has not yet considered results of an internal review of Blackwater and the other two companies that protect diplomats in Iraq.

Department officials said no decisions have been made and that Rice has the final say. They gave admiring appraisals of Blackwater's work overall, noting that no diplomats have died while riding in Blackwater's heavily armed convoys.

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