Iraq orders Blackwater out of the country

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Just_A_Mom, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I guess this is what happens when we hire private contractors (read: mercenaries) to fight a war for us..............

    ———
    AP correspondents Deborah Hastings in New York, Mike Baker in Raleigh, N.C., and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
     
  2. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Bound to happen.
     
  3. Antoinette

    Antoinette Founding Member

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    The Iraqi officials are very quick to blame - even before all the facts are in.
     
  4. nosmileysforme

    nosmileysforme Member

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    "The Iraqi officials are very quick to blame - even before all the facts are in."

    That's politics for you.
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    They must be taking lessons from John Murtha and the rest of that cesspit we have for a Congress. :mad:

    At any rate, this means nothing. The need still exists, and there are tons of other companies out there providing services that will simply pick up the slack, probably when the BW boys move over from BW.

    But they do it anyway. :mad:

    I wonder what else they do that they are not authorized to do? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The latest - undoubtedly the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, all US Civilians and Diplomats are now restricted to the Green Zone.
    If Blackwater is expelled they would not be easily or quickly replaceable. There are a lot of contractors but they are the biggest that provide "security" and are basically contracted soldiers (mercenaries) who are not fighting for their country but fighting for the almighty dollar - and big ones too.
    The "problem" with using them is they are not US Military - they don't have to follow the rules of engagement or the Geneva Convention (not the the insurgents do). In any case, the potential for them to be a loose cannon is much greater than if the Military was doing this job.
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Oh? Where were you when Saddam was running the place? :rolleyes:

    "At least"?

    "an AP count"?

    :confused:

    What, you mean the media doesn't know for sure, despite their insistance on keeping the AMERICAN body count but ignoring the ENEMY count? :rolleyes:

    More stupidity and bluster from politicians and the media. :mad:


    I think you may be taking too much for granted. I highly doubt that the United States Military (and certainly not those paragons of peace-at-any-price-including-American-humiliation over at the State Department) would contract BW or any other similar firm without the contract clearly stipulating rules of engagement that are probably closer in line with the military than you might think.

    I can't think of too many attrocities caused by these groups, and the instances where they have gone too far have been dealt with.

    Once again, why are so many people so willing to believe that everyone but the Americans are telling the truth?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    1. The AP always says "at least" because the number is fluid. It can change from minute to minute - always going up, never down.

    2. While the US GOVERNMENT contracts Blackwater, I dont think it is the military. These guys don't have to follow the military chain of command nor are they subject to any courts-martial. If they do bad things our government simply evacuates them.

    3. "Something" must have happened - or else why would Condi offer a personal apology. She doesn't apologize when our troops are killing off insurgents.

    4. These guys are doing the job of an American soldier but getting paid big bucks for doing it. I know the Army is short on numbers but at the same time my tax dollars are paying for mercenaries to help fight this war.
     
  9. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Blackwater employees are not mercenaries.

    They are not fighting the war, they are not being employed by a foreign govt to fight a war. They are simply "outsourced" security to US and Iraqi diplomats, as well as other areas where the US military does not want to, or cannot.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    This the same AP that's prohibited from using the word "terrorist"? :rolleyes:

    I'm not so sure. While it is true that they do not fall under the UCMJ, they hardly have carte blanche to shoot the place up.

    She does when they miss and kill innocents.

    Again, why is everyone so quick to believe the Iraqi government (you know, the same one that has "failed" to reach any "significant progress" on the "milestones" set by OUR Congress, and as such must go, according to geo-political experts like Harry Reid) instead of giving the AMERICANS the benefit of the doubt.

    Hasn't the enemy fired from behind innocents before, PRECISELY to perpetrate this kind of reaction from the Blame-America-First crowd?

    First off, they aren't mercenaries. They are not up for sale to the highest bidder and they ARE LOYAL to OUR side (much moreso than some of our alleged allies, I might add). As such, the term "mercenary", which is thrown around so cavalierly by those who want to put these guys down, is not applicable here.

    While I agree that it would be best for us to have the forces to negate the need for these guys, the fact is that their expertise is in demand, they come from the best units in the military, and they are getting paid what they're worth. It's called Capitalism.

    I can't help but wonder what would happen if the esteemed Congress, rather than voting themselves payraises to sit on their fat asses all day pontificating for C-SPAN, would instead vote a 45% increase in pay for our troops? Where would we get the funds? Well, Her Royal Majesty the Senator from New York just got $7 million dollars to build a worthless museum to the Woodstock hippies, so it's not like there isn't tons of money laying around to be spent on GOOD stuff. Let's look for it and give our guys a well-deserved raise, and see the numbers of enlistments and retains go up.
     
  11. TacticalNuke

    TacticalNuke Administrator

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    Keep in mind Blackwater has not been expelled from the country, nor have they been prohibited from operating, the latest I heard.
     
  12. nosmileysforme

    nosmileysforme Member

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    Well, considering the fracas over a 0.5% additional raise proposed by the House Armed Services Committee beyond the 3.0% proposed by the Bush administration, I would guess Bush would veto any such proposal.


    White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary
    Rick Maze, Army Times - May 16, 2007

    Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

    The Bush administration had asked for a 3 percent military raise for Jan. 1, 2008, enough to match last year’s average pay increase in the private sector. The House Armed Services Committee recommends a 3.5 percent pay increase for 2008, and increases in 2009 through 2012 that also are 0.5 percentage point greater than private-sector pay raises.

    The slightly bigger military raises are intended to reduce the gap between military and civilian pay that stands at about 3.9 percent today. Under the bill, HR 1585, the pay gap would be reduced to 1.4 percent after the Jan. 1, 2012, pay increase.

    Bush budget officials said the administration “strongly opposes” both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases “unnecessary.”

    See the full Statement of Administration Policy, or SAP (pdf) >>

    Here is the relevant excerpt “strongly” opposing the pay raise:

    Military Pay: The Administration strongly opposes sections 601 and 606. The additional 0.5 percent increase above the President’s proposed 3.0 percent across-the-board pay increase is unnecessary. When combined with the overall military benefit package, the President’s proposal provides a good quality of life for servicemembers and their families. While we agree military pay must be kept competitive, the three percent raise, equal to the increase in the Employment Cost Index, will do that. The cost of increasing the FY 2008 military pay raise by an additional 0.5 percent is $265 million in FY 2008 and $7.3 billion from FY 2008 to FY 2013.

    Here the Administration opposes an additional $40 per month for widows of slain soldiers:

    Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance: The Administration opposes section 644, which would pay a monthly special survivor indemnity allowance of $40 from the DoD Military Retirement Fund. The current benefit programs for survivors, DoD’s Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Department of Veterans Affairs’ Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC), provide sufficient benefits and avoid duplication of two complementary federal benefits programs established for the same purpose — providing a lifetime annuity for the survivor of an active, retired or former servicemember. This offset policy is consistent with private sector benefits. The provision is estimated to cost $27 million in the first year and about $160 million through FY 2013. It appears to be the first step toward eliminating the offset between SBP and DIC; full elimination of this offset would cost the Military Retirement Fund between $6 and $8 billion over 10 years.
     
  13. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Smiley is correct. The present Bush administration is, and has been, notorious for not supporting out men and women in uniform.

    There is absolutely no control over civilian "contractors" in Iraq. I remember grimacing when Rumsfield pushed through the law that contractors would not be subject to Iraqi law. They are also not subject to UCMJ. I think today if a Blackwater contractor killed someone in cold blood, it would literally take an act of Congress to prosecute him. Most contractors work for DOD which has a few minimal checks and balances. Blackwater works for State Dept which has none. While the rest of the effort is to win the hearts and minds, Blackwater is totally contradictory to that effort.

    We don't have a clue how many and from what countries these security personnel come from. Every construction contractor, foreign and US both, probably hire their own. There is no standardization.

    Mercenaries. Sure. There are many from foreign countries. And they are working for money. Money that is factors more than the soldier working alongside more makes. This is the real issue to me. Wasted money that could be spent beefing up and giving proper benefits to our soldiers, sailors, and airmen.

    Think that with every troop drawdown their will be a corresponding civilian contract let? It kept us from showing escalation. Perhaps it can now help us show withdrawal.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  14. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    And as bodyguards employed by the State Department, they all enjoy diplomatic immunity.
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    They have been temporarily removed from providing security to US Diplomats and civilians in Baghdad until this is "resolved".
    This is why US Diplomats and cilivians are not allowed outside the Green Zone.
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Depends on your definition of Mercenary.

    Blackwater employees are indeed paid very well. They include not only US Citizens but foreign nationals. So, the US State Department has contracted with Foreign Nationals to provide security to US Diplomats (shouldn't this be the job of the Marines????) and they have unlimited permission to use offensive weapons.

    Sounds like mercenaries to me.
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Not only that but according to the Coalition agreement they are also not prosecutable under Iraqi law. Hence, they are accountable to no one. Unless you count Condi and W.

    Look, this incident is not the first one. There have been others - this is different because it happened in broad daylight in front of credible witnesses.
    An Iraqi lawyer shot in the back trying to flee might be a credible witness.

    Also, USNA69 is correct - they are doing nothing to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Our soldiers on the ground are doing everything they can to win the hearts and minds and unless we can do that this war is in vain.
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The rape and murder of a 14 year old Iraqi girl, then the murder of her entire family by US Marines, didn't win any hearts and minds either.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6930845.stm

    Nor did the shooting of an unarmed Iraqi cowherd in the back of the head by a US Army soldier.
    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Aug/06/ln/ln07a.html

    Blackwater employees AND US military personel have been accused (some convicted) of atrocities against Iraqi civilians.

    I'm not excusing Blackwater in anything, nor comparing their crimes with crimes committed by US service members.

    Just stating that crimes against civilans and children are crimes no matter who is committing them.

    Both seem to rogue isolated incidents rather than a policy or directive by either organization, Blackwater or the US military.

    The military seemed to react to these crimes, punishing the guilty.

    Let's hope that (if proved to be true) the Blackwater crimes are also pursued to the same extent.
     
  19. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Pathetic, isn't it? :mad: :frown:


    I agree with Luigi's last post, although I will admit that USNA69's post, if entirely accurate, is disturbing. While I would not expect the contractors to be held to Iraqi Law (just as our troops are not), I would hope that some kind of control WOULD exist. Until I have proof otherwise, I am not going to conclude that they were given a complete license to kill.

    Just a thought, though. If they DO have a true license to kill, then I think their restraint has been admirable. I guarantee you that if they had gone off on wild shooting sprees, we would have heard about it.

    As for hearts and minds, I thought that's what we had the State Department for? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  20. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The saga continues...........

    Iraq guard contracts raise worries
    Blackwater disputes bring to surface tensions with State Department
    By Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas E. Ricks
    The Washington Post
     

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