State Department Evades Oversight For Private Army In Iraq

Wired’s Spencer Ackerman reports that the State Department intends to roughly double the number of private security contractors in Iraq in order to protect its mission as it takes the lead of the U.S. presence there. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen complained that State has blocked his attempts to glean information about the 5,550-man private army. “Our audit of the program is making no progress,” he said. CAP visiting fellow Pratap Chatterjee wrote last month on ThinkProgress that the Obama administration should focus on beefing up State’s internal Bureau of Diplomatic Security rather than doling out lucrative contracts to hired guns.