Iraq sees “security vacuum” without Blackwater

What an extraordinary change of hart.
Last week it was a flagrant assault now Blackwater (only a thousand strong in Iraq) are irreplaceable.

By Dominic Evans and Paul Tait

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will not rush to expel U.S. firm Blackwater, under investigation over a shooting which killed 11 Iraqis, because it would leave a “security vacuum” in Baghdad, a government official said on Sunday.

The shooting in western Baghdad last Sunday incensed Iraqis and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed to freeze the work of Blackwater, which employs about 1,000 people and guards the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. But five days later it was back at work.

Instead, the Iraqi government and U.S. officials have agreed to set up a joint inquiry into the work of private security companies like U.S.-based Blackwater, which many Iraqis see as private armies acting with impunity.

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