Attacks on the private contractors rebuilding Iraq are boosting security expenses, cutting into reconstruction funds and compelling U.S. officials in Baghdad to contend with growing legions of private, armed security teams spread throughout the country. While attacks on military targets and Iraqi citizens have received widespread attention, the assaults on the companies, which have left at least 17 dead and others wounded, are lesser known. Those attacks could jeopardize the success of the coalition efforts in Iraq, according to a Coalition Provisional Authority document reviewed by The Washington Post. A draft of security guidance for contractors prepared by the CPA’s Infrastructure Security Planning Group in Baghdad says, “Spiraling costs, excessive work delays, lost materiel and workforce casualties in the current threat environment have the potential to put Coalition success at risk.” The CPA’s Program Management Office is seeking to hire a central coordinator for the private security teams in anticipation of the thousands of foreign workers and hundreds of new work sites that will flood Iraq starting next month, when nearly $10 billion in U.S.-funded rebuilding contracts are due to be awarded. Full Story
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