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Blackwater Under Fire

Blackwater USA, the private security firm with contracts and operations in Iraq, is in big trouble these days. They're under investigation for a...




Blackwater USA, the private security firm with contracts and operations in Iraq, is in big trouble these days. They're under investigation for a September 16th shooting in Iraq that left 11 civilians dead.

Proponents say these private security firms are efficient and have the resources to take limited jobs like, say, protecting a construction site, off the hands of the U.S. military.

Critics say they aren't held to the same standards as the military and that they have a myopic focus on fulfilling their contracts, often at the expense of bigger goals (like winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis).

Doug Brooks, who wrote a piece for GOOD on the role of private security in Darfur, was on NPR this morning defending the use of private security contractors. He faced off against Congressman Henry Waxman and Peter Singer of the Brookings Institute.

Some readers have already weighed in on Brooks's piece. What do you think? Do these private security contractors have a place in Iraq?