State Dept.: $3 Billion For Contractors to Guard Diplomats in Iraq

As the U.S. reduces its military presence in Iraq, a State Department official told a legislative commission that the U.S. plans on spending $3 billion to hire a more than 5,000-person strong private security force. Unless Iraq asks the U.S. to keep its military presence, the number of troops there will be drastically reduced. But a robust diplomatic presence that needs to be guarded will remain. The private security forces will guard the embassy compound in Baghdad — the world’s largest — and outposts in the provinces, as well as diplomats in transit.