Will this hurt Blackwater's business? No:
— Troubled military contractor Blackwater WASHINGTON is likely to be eased out of its role of guarding USA diplomats in U.S. in the aftermath of a shooting last month that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, Iraq officials said Friday. U.S.
While no decisions have been finalized, Blackwater's role in
is likely to be taken over by one of two other contractors who provide security for the State Department in Baghdad , the officials said. They are Triple Canopy and DynCorp International. Iraq
"There will be some sort of disengagement process, but it won't be that they're shown the door," said a State Department official. "As one builds down, another builds up."
He and other
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hadn't received an oral report from a four-person team led by Patrick Kennedy, the department's director of management policy. The team reviewed State Department security operations in U.S. . Iraq
In a related development Friday, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who's been investigating State Department operations in
, said in a letter that Blackwater attempted to transport two Iraqi military aircraft out of Iraq without official permission. Iraq
In the letter to Blackwater founder Erik Prince, Waxman said that an unnamed military official told his House Oversight Committee that "the Iraqi ministry of defense attempted to reclaim the aircraft, but that Blackwater would not comply."
Waxman also alleged that Prince had misled the committee in testimony earlier this month. Prince had said that the company's early contracts with the Coalition Provisional Authority in
and the State Department were competitively bid, when in fact they were sole-source contracts. Iraq
Waxman demanded that Prince turn over a wealth of company information to the committee, including contract documents, Blackwater's profit data and information about Prince's compensation.In the letter, and in a separate one to Rice, he asked for details about payments that the company has given to the families of Iraqis Blackwater killed.
The U.S. Defense Department has invited five contractors to bid on elements of a new multibillion-dollar effort to combat the global flow of illegal drugs allegedly used to finance terrorism.
Awarded by the Pentagon’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office (CNTPO),
, the contract vehicle has a potential value of $15 billion over five years. One participant is ARINC, a Maryland-based provider of airline communications systems. Dahlgren, Va.
“This gives us the opportunity to bid on this work,” said Linda Hartwig, an ARINC spokeswoman. “We don’t have a lot of details yet, but we do know that this is an expansion of what [the
] is already doing to fight drug trafficking, and that 80 percent of the work will be overseas.” United States
Hartwig said the other participating vendors are defense giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, and security contractor Blackwater
. Blackwater confirmed its participation, but the other three vendors did not respond to inquiries. USA
The vendors will compete for a series of task orders covering a wide range of products and services. These could include anti-drug technologies and equipment, special vehicles and aircraft, communications, security training, pilot training, geographic information systems and in-field support.
According to ARINC, training elements could include instruction for border police, the construction of shooting ranges and the integration of aircraft-mounted drug-detection systems.
ARINC has assisted
drug interdiction efforts since 2002, when it joined the State Department’s Air Bridge Denial program. U.S.
Within the Pentagon, the CNTPO is the lead agency for developing new technologies to “disrupt, deter and deny” narcoterrorism. Much of this work relates to prototyping new communications and sensor systems.