Somewhat Disturbing Idea

by Daniel Russ on July 27, 2010

Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON — Can diplomats field their own army? The State Department is laying plans to do precisely that in Iraq, in an unprecedented experiment that U.S. officials and some nervous lawmakers say could be risky.

In little more than a year, State Department contractors in Iraq could be driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance.

Under the terms of a 2008 status of forces agreement, all U.S. troops must be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, but they’ll leave behind a sizable American civilian presence, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world, and five consulate-like “Enduring Presence Posts” in the Iraqi hinterlands.

Iraq remains a battle zone, and the American diplomats and other civilian government employees will need security. The U.S. military will be gone. Iraq’s army and police, despite billions of dollars and years of American training, aren’t yet capable of doing the job.

The State Department, better known for negotiating treaties and delivering diplomatic notes, will have to fend for itself in what remains an active danger zone.

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, flew to Washington this week for a conference with the State Department on how to transition Iraq from soldiers to diplomats.

This is beginning to look like Rome, or the middle ages, anyone who could raise an finance an army could and would become more powerful. The State Department is a branch of the Executive branch and the Constitution allows the Executive branch to control armed force.
This is still bothersome.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Louis August 30, 2017 at 5:36 am

Well, in effect the FFL (french foreign legion) is the private army of the President of the french repubic. And as its soldiers are all volunteers, and non-france citizens by definition (french citizens who want to serve in it have to relinquish their citizenship), no angry voters\parents\spouses\kids will demand their return.

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