DoS reveals its plan to secure their personnel in Iraq after the troops come home:
The State Department is preparing to spend close to $3 billion to hire a security force to protect diplomats in Iraq after the U.S. pulls its last troops out of the country by year’s end.
In testimony Monday before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management, said the department plans to hire a 5,100-strong force to protect diplomatic personnel, guard embassy buildings and operate a fleet of aircraft and armored vehicles…
A large U.S. diplomatic presence will remain, however, and the departments of state and defense are wrestling with how to provide security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad—which is a target of rocket attacks—and diplomatic outposts in the provinces.
As the military withdraws, Mr. Kennedy said, the State Department will rely on contractors to carry out a range of military-style missions that he said were “not inherently governmental,” including providing emergency medical evacuation, operating systems to detect and warn against incoming rocket or artillery fire, or rescue diplomatic personnel under attack.
The contract security force slated for Iraq would far outstrip the State Department’s in-house diplomatic security force. Mr. Kennedy said the State Department currently employs around 1,800 diplomatic security personnel around the world.
That’s $588K per contractor, for those keeping score at home. The size of the US mission in Iraq was forecast to be roughly 3000 souls, or 1.5 contract support personnel per DoS employee. The sums spent on contract support are nearly double the entire amount spent by State in Iraq in 2010, and represents nearly 18% of the entire FY10 budget. 5,100 contractors is roughly the size of a reinforced brigade.
Are they hiring pilots?