Peacekeeping: October 23, 2003


The security situation in Iraq is such that many of the aid organizations working there are hiring their own security forces. Some hire locally, but the quality is sometimes unpredictable and Iraqi security firms are still getting themselves organized. Meanwhile, hiring non-Iraqis, with a track record in military operations, has become popular. But this can be expensive. While you can hire an Iraqi with years of military and security experience (alas, while employed for Saddam), for a few hundred dollars a month, a former American Ranger or Special Forces trooper will cost you over $10,000 a month per man. The price is so high because there are only about 20,000 (at most) retired or former Special Forces and Ranger troops still in shape for action. And many of these men have already been snapped by the U.S. government, or civilian organizations looking for high quality operators. Special Forces men who speak Arabic are particularly prized, as they can more easily select and supervise locally hired security personnel. Most of the American troops hired for this work do so on six month contracts, although many will renew for more tours. Despite the media gloom and doom headlines, Iraq is pretty safe if you know what you are doing. The fact that few of these former Special Forces and Rangers working security over there have been killed or injured demonstrates this. 




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