The Nation: Obama's Position on Mercenaries in Iraq
Just out at The Nation:
A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has told The Nation that if elected Obama will not "rule out" using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said that Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009, when a new President will be sworn in.
Obama's campaign says that instead he will focus on bringing accountability to these forces while increasing funding for the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the agency that employs Blackwater and other private security contractors. (Hillary Clinton's staff did not respond to repeated requests for an interview or a statement on this issue.)
Bottom line, according to Obama's senior advisor:
. "I can't rule out, I won't rule out, private security contractors." He added, "I will rule out private security contractors that are not accountable to US law."
As to what the import is:
But it's clear that Obama's "follow-on force" will include a robust security force to protect US personnel in Iraq, US trainers (who would also require security) for Iraqi forces and military units to "strike at Al Qaeda"--all very broad swaths of the occupation.
Question: Is Obama's exit plan really an exit plan?
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