Kommentar

Det store antallet private sikkerhetsvakter i Irak – 25.000 – skaper stadig «incidenter», som utløser irakernes raseri. De kan ikke stilles til ansvar av Iraks myndigheter, og folk tar hevn på amerikanske militære.

These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There’s no authority over them, so you can’t come down on them hard when they escalate force,» said Brig. Gen. Karl R. Horst, deputy commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for security in and around Baghdad. «They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place.»

Hæren er bekymret, både fordi irakere tar hevn på de militære for ting sikkerhetsvaktene har gjort. Skytegale og brautende sikkerhetsvakter er således direkte skyld i at amerikanske soldatliv går tapt.

Minst like viktig er den fiendskap sikkerhetsvaktenes oppførsel utløser. I dagens spente situasjon er det noe hverken regjeringen eller amerikanerne har råd til.

Ikke autoritet

Sikkerhetskontraktærene opererer i et legalt vakuum, der hverken nasjonale myndigheter eller hæren, har myndighet over dem.

Employees of private security firms are immune from prosecution in Iraq, under an order adopted into law last year by Iraq’s interim government. The most severe punishment that can be applied to them is revocation of their license and dismissal from their job, U.S. officials said. Their heavy presence stems in large part from the Pentagon’s attempts to keep troop numbers down by privatizing jobs that would once have been performed by American forces.
..
While many security companies perform military-style tasks, often on behalf of the U.S. government, they are not under the armed services’ command. In response to a congressional request for more information on oversight of security contractors, the Pentagon said the military’s relationship with them was «one of coordination, not control.»

Store summer

There are now at least 36 foreign security companies — most from the United States and Britain — and 16 Iraqi firms registered to operate here, according to the Interior Ministry, and as many as 50 more are believed to have set up shop illegally. Their total workforce is estimated at 25,000; many are military veterans, though levels of experience vary. As of December, contracts to provide security for U.S. government agencies and reconstruction firms in Iraq had surpassed $766 million, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

Rambo

Den 27. mai innkalte brigadegeneral Horst til møte i Green Zone i Bagdad med all kontraktørene. De fikk beskjed om å rette seg etter lokale lover og regler.

The next day, the sometimes contentious relationship between security companies and the U.S. military burst into the open. Marines in the western province of Anbar detained 19 security contractors from another North Carolina-based outfit, Zapata Engineering, who allegedly shot at U.S. forces near Fallujah.

Horst said his soldiers had had a run-in earlier that day with the same 19 workers. The contractors — 16 Americans and three Iraqis — were traveling west from Baghdad in a convoy of white Suburbans. As they passed the Abu Ghraib prison, whose perimeter is guarded by Horst’s soldiers, they were shooting indiscriminately at the sides of the road, the general said.

Engasjeringen av private sikkerhetsselskaper reiser en rekke spørsmål. De er ikke underlagt militære kommando. I stress-situasjoner reagerer de etter eget forgodtbefinnende. Etterspørselen etter folk gjør at det også har sneket seg inn folk som aldri burde vært vakter.

Washington Post forteller om et tilfelle fra Irbil der uprovosert skyting fra en sikkerhetsvakt ble dysset ned, og det skal være flere slike. Det tærer på tilliten til amerikanerne.

Pentagon ville bruke private for å spare soldater. Men prisen viser seg å bli høy.

Security Contractors in Iraq Under Scrutiny After Shootings