Contractors in Iraq Trigger Two Shootings

Two incidents ignited by Blackwater raise questions about quasi-miliary role
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2007 6:52 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Contractors from private security firm Blackwater USA set off two firefights in Baghdad in as many days last week. On Thursday, a Blackwater guard shot and killed an Iraqi driver who trailed a convoy suspiciously, and Wednesday a Blackwater convoy escorting State Department officials was ambushed—sparking a battle between contractors, coalition forces, and insurgents, reports the Washington Post.

The incidents underscore how big a role these hired guns have in the war effort, and how their actions can complicate relationships that are essential to the US military, said a senior adviser. Blackwater has $109 million worth of contracts with the State Department, and under military rules is prohibited from offensive operations.