Blackwater may get dumped in Iraq

Private military firm still under the under fire for 2007 incident that took 17 Iraqi lives.


Thomas Schaller
December 18, 2008 2:57AM (UTC)

An advisory panel warns that Blackwater could have its contracts revoked next year:

Associated Press, December 17, 2008

WASHINGTON - A State Department official familiar with an advisory panel report warns the State Department should prepare for the possibility that Blackwater and other security companies could have their licenses revoked by the Iraqi government next year, according to NBC News reports.

The Associated Press is reporting that the advisory panel is recommending that Blackwater Worldwide be dropped as the main private security contractor for American diplomats in Iraq.

However, an NBC source said "there is nothing in the report ... that says that the company's contract not be renewed."

The official who spoke to NBC also points out that the State Department may decide on its own not to renew Blackwater's contract given the bad name it has in Iraq. No decision would be made, however, until after the FBI completes its investigation of the September 2007 shooting incident in Baghdad.

That shooting incident resulted in the deaths of 17 Iraqis.

It would mean a lot more if the U.S. government, not the Iraqi government, decided to revoke. I wouldn't count on it, however.

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Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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