Push to Put Private Guards Under Military

Congress wants military in charge, despite resistance from Condi
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2007 7:56 AM CDT
In a file photo Plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater USA take part in a firefight as Iraqi demonstrators loyal to Muqtada Al Sadr attempt to advance on a facility being defended by U.S. and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Despite reluctance from Condoleezza Rice, Congress is pushing to bring all private security guards operating in Iraq under US military control. The Senate included military oversight of private contractors in its 2008 defense bill, and the House is likely to follow, the AP reports. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Carl Levin, is confident it will be approved and sent to President Bush's desk, AP reports.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates supports military oversight, but Rice, in releasing new procedures this week for increased supervision and "better coordination" of the contractors, conspicuously did not agree to shift oversight from State to the military. Rice will testify before a House committee today.