US blocks oversight of mercenary army in Iraq

In 2012, the US State Department will hire 5,500 private security contractors to protect its staff and embassy facilities in Iraq, as the military prepares to withdraw. Yet Stuart Rowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGR) will not have oversight, despite possessing relevant experience. The State Department’s management chief, former Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, has given Bowen a clear response: That’s not your jurisdiction. You just deal with reconstruction, not security.  Bowen has audited over $1.2 billion worth of security contracts over seven years.

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