In Iraq, a Private Realm Of Intelligence-Gathering Firm Extends U.S. Government’s Reach

by Steve Fainaru and Alec KleinWashington Post Foreign Service
July 1st, 2007

BAGHDAD — On the first floor of a tan building inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, the full scope of Iraq’s daily carnage is condensed into a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation. Displayed on a 15-foot-wide screen, the report is the most current intelligence on significant enemy activity. Two men in khakis and tan polo shirts narrate from the back of the room. One morning recently, their report covered 168 incidents: rocket attacks in Tikrit, a cow-detonated bomb in Habbaniyah, seven bodies discovered floating in the Diyala River. A quotation from Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, concluded the briefing: “Hard is not hopeless.” The intelligence was compiled not by the U.S. military, as might be expected, but by a British security firm, Aegis Defence Services Ltd.

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