Paramilitary: September 7, 2004


The United States is organizing a paramilitary force of security people for its Baghdad embassy. Called the Iraq Protective Operation (IPO), it is being put together by the State Departments Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The IPO will be responsible for protecting the embassy, and the 3.000 diplomats and support personnel assigned to it. Most of the IPO staff will be contractors, recruited from the ranks of former military and police personnel. Actually, the IPO will probably attract some men and women who are currently employed by the military, police departments or other security organizations. Qualified military personnel, who are near the end of their enlistments, are particularly tempted by these situations. Firms like Blackwater Security, which already provide many security personnel in Iraq, are handling the hiring and training. The work of the contractors will be supervised by government employees belonging to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. 


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