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But Col. Towery’s biggest concern is that as long as private contractors remain in Iraq, the country will never be self-sufficient. In his view, in order for the new Iraqi government to be recognized as a sovereign country, it must be responsible for every aspect of security in Iraq.

Col. Towery accepts the Bush administration’s contention that the overall ability of the new Iraqi government to provide all aspects of security - to include that of providing security for contractors operating as part of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq - is much improved.

Thus he proposed the elimination of all private security personnel in Iraq. This includes private security personnel operating on Iraq’s roadways for convoy security, private bodyguards and static security operations conducted outside U.S. government or coalition member-controlled bases and camps. In short, all security requirements will become the responsibility of the new Iraqi government, with the only exception being security for companies that are in direct support of U.S. military or coalition member combat operations.

Of course, the State Department, whose personnel are protected by three private security firms under its Worldwide Personal Protective Services contract, is likely to disagree.

Ironically, even Col. Towery acknowledges the role of contractors in helping to end their role in Iraq. When talking about training an Iraqi special security force to replace private security contractors, he writes:

“Based on the Blackwater training model, the training facilities will be able to produce approximately 150 Iraqi special security police officers, trained for a variety of private security missions, every eight weeks by each training contracting firm.

“If contracts are given to three training contracting firms, it will take over 133 training sessions, almost seven years, to match the almost 20,000 private security contractors operating in Iraq now. While this is not an overly aggressive replacement rate, it will allow the new Iraqi government ample time to phase out private security contractors in an orderly manner.

“If the Iraqi government wants to move this process at an accelerated rate, then the contractors responsible for training could use a model similar to that of the police-training program that DynCorp, a subsidiary of California-based Computer Sciences Corp., used to land the initial police-training contract in Iraq.”