Sunday, September 26, 2010

Robert Young Pelton: The chatter behind the scenes is that Baghdad is not the place you want to be posted to next year

Cover of "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in...Cover via AmazonVia David Isenberg at HuffPo on the DOD to State transition in Iraq:

"We may be waiting a long time before security conditions allow what Mr. Bowen recommends. At my request I asked Robert Young Pelton, author of Licensed To Kill, one of the better books on security contracting in Iraq, his thoughts. He emailed me back that:"

The chatter behind the scenes is that Baghdad is not the place you want to be posted to next year. Triple Canopy is allegedly 30 percent undermanned and DynCorp according to scuttlebutt has yet to get anything in the air. The current push to double hired guns also comes after Blackwater was dropped and others were asked to fill the gap. The turmoil in protection services began not because Blackwater gunned down 17 Iraqis, but because the State Dept was frozen by the Iraqi government. Condi thought it would be cute to flush BW down the drain but was wise enough to keep them in place under different names. But Hillary nuked them ten days after the inauguration.

The irony in all this is that HIllary Clinton who once sponsored legislation to ban PMC's and specifically Blackwater finds herself at the head of the largest mercenary army in America's history. We have yet to actually see if the U.S. government can operate in Baghdad without Erik Prince and Blackwater. Triple Canopy tried and failed before, resulting in a massive influx of BW in April of 2005 until 2009. We know from Leon Panetta the CIA can't operate without Blackwater, I doubt the State Department is going to magically double their protection overnight without some serious teething problems.

Now that Erik has packed up and taken his toys with him. My advice to Hillary....don't go to Baghdad.

It's rough out there these days.  Read the whole thing here.  (active links added above).

We have previously posted a piece by RYP on Afghanistan here.  

On RYP:  "Author and filmmaker, Robert Young Pelton has made a career of bypassing the media, border guards and the military in his goal of getting to the heart of the story.  In his travels to and through the world’s most dangerous places, Pelton has shared risks with his hosts and often has become the sole surviving witness to history-shaping events. His recent journeys have taken him inside the siege of Grozny in Chechnya, the battle of Qala-I-Jangi in Afghanistan, the rebel campaign to take Monrovia in Liberia, inside the hunt for Bin Laden in the Tribal Areas with the CIA, with insurgents during the war in Iraq and running RPG Alley every day for four weeks with Blackwater in Baghdad."

Check out his official website, where he also has a Dangerpedia.

Related post:

Our Shooty-Shooty and Talky-Talky Teams in Afghanistan | Diplopundit | January 23, 2009

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