The Scotsman reports that Tony Blair's withdrawal of 1600 troops from Iraq is more smoke and mirrors. It would appear that while he's pulling the troops with a Royal Union flag on their camo smocks, he's replacing them with those who wear a slightly different logo. Mercenaries. (via NewsHog)
MINISTERS are negotiating multi-million-pound contracts with private security firms to cover some of the gaps created by British troop withdrawals.And, after Nepos appointed Orestes, Orestes overthrew Nepos. Then Odoacer, the commander of the Germanic mercenaries employed by Rome, overthrew Orestes. Then Rome fell.
Days after Tony Blair revealed that he wanted to withdraw 1,600 soldiers from war-torn Basra within months, it has emerged that civil servants hope "mercenaries" can help fill the gap left behind.
Officials from the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence will meet representatives from the private security industry within the next month to discuss "options" for increasing their business in Iraq in the coming years.
The UK government has already paid out almost £160m to private security companies (PSCs) since the invasion of Iraq, for a range of services, including the protection of British officials on duty and in transit in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.
But, despite expectations that the booming market for private security would go into decline following the bursting of the "Iraq bubble", firms have now been told to expect even more lucrative work during the "post-occupation phase".
A senior official from one of the biggest PSCs already operating in Iraq last night claimed firms had been told to expect increased business opportunities in areas such as personnel protection, highway security and the training of Iraqi police and soldiers.
The development will reawaken complaints that the government is "privatising" the occupation of Iraq.Pressure groups have consistently warned that private security contractors have been given too much freedom to operate in Iraq, and one warned that the country was being flooded with PSCs as part of the British "exit strategy