Iraq, demonstrating its ever increasing desire to take control of affairs within its borders, has denied Blackwater an operating license in the country.
Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf told CNN the ministry denied the request mainly because of a September 2007 shooting incident in which security guards — then employed by Blackwater — fired on a crowd and killed 17 Iraqis.
A U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad, who asked not to be named, confirmed the report.
“We have been informed that Blackwater’s … operating license will not be granted,” the official said. “We don’t have specifics about dates. We are working with the government of Iraq and our contractors to address the implications of this decision.”
It does have major implication for security of U.S. officials in Iraq because Blackwater does have one of the largest security contracts in the country, and no American diplomat has been killed when they are on the job. So you can’t argue with their efficiency. But since the accusations of manslaughter in September it’s been an ugly fight to justify their methods. You just can’t open up in a crowd, kill 17 people, and expect to keep running the business. Not good COIN ops, you know?