U.S. officials already banned from travel in Baghdad.
Despite Sunday’s gun battle in Baghdad in which 20 civilians were killed by Blackwater mercenaries, there are new reports that the Iraqi government may not cancel Blackwater’s contract after all.
No surprise there, because Iraq’s foundering government seems to have been canceled.
Radio Free Iraq reports that the Iraqi Parliament called off its September 18 session because a majority of its members didn’t show up for work. The parent Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty news service says in today’s roundup:
U.S. officials have already been forbidden to travel outside the Green Zone. Iraqi officials, targeted by insurgents, don’t want to travel either.
Bring in more mercenaries! That seems to be the message. Tel Aviv-based Dominic Moran of Zurich’s International Relations and Security Network (ISN) reports today:
Providing a good roundup of U.S. mercenary work, Moran also notes:
The current use of private security contractors in Iraq is unprecedented in scale for a US overseas entanglement, with security companies employing around 48,000 personnel. Most work on limited rotations cycling in and out of the country with the expiry of contracted agreements. The same is true in Afghanistan.
The unprecedented reliance on the services of private security contractors was underlined Tuesday with the US decision to suspend all overland travel by its diplomats and related civilian workers beyond the confines of the Baghdad Green Zone.