Blackwater critics to Pentagon: Don’t say we didn’t warn you

Defense and legal experts issued two years worth of warnings to the Pentagon about its heavy reliance on Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms in Iraq — and watched as the Defense Department continued to expand its use of the contractors, according to a new report.In a series of memos, letters and in-person meetings with high-level officials in the US and Iraq, critics had warned of a “lack of control” over the private guards, writes the the Washington Post‘s Steve Fainaru. But despite a growing number of incidents in which Blackwater employees allegedly shot and killed Iraqi civilians, the US government was slow to act.

“We set this thing up for failure from the beginning,” a retired Marine colonel who advised Iraqi military forces in 2004 told the Post. “We’re just sorting it out now…I still think, from a pure counterinsurgency standpoint, armed contractors are an inherently bad idea, because you cannot control the quality, you cannot control the action on the ground, but you’re held responsible for everything they do.”

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