Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Is the U.S. State Department up to the Post-War Challenges in Iraq?

Statement of Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight
WASHINGTON -

With the nation’s attention focused on today’s end of the war in Iraq, it’s easy to overlook the unprecedented challenge ahead for the U.S. Department of State.

Although the troops are on their way home, the U.S. is planning to maintain a sizeable footprint in Iraq. The presence will reportedly include four major diplomatic centers and some 15,000 personnel. It’s expected to cost about $3.8 billion for the first year alone.

To meet this challenge, which includes managing everything from transportation to food services, the U.S. Government will rely heavily on the use of contractors. And because Iraq still resembles a war zone, the State Department is planning to more than double its reliance on private security contractors.

From the Blackwater shootings in Nissour Square to the Lord of the Flies environment at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the State Department’s history of managing contractors is reason for concern. With the absence of a permanent Inspector General and the coming end of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, these concerns are all the more heightened.

After the White House finishes with today’s celebration, we hope it wastes no time in focusing on the need to improve its game when it comes to oversight of the contractors we are leaving behind.

###

Project on Government Oversight

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.

Norwegian 'People vs. Arctic Oil' Case Heads to European Human Rights Court

"We have to take action now to limit irreversible damage to our climate and ecosystems to ensure livelihoods for the coming generations," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'Let Scientific Evidence Determine Origin' of Covid-19, Say Heads of US National Academies

"Misinformation, unsubstantiated claims, and personal attacks on scientists surrounding the different theories of how the virus emerged are unacceptable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


ICC Request to Probe Duterte's Brutal Drug War Hailed as 'Crucial Step for Justice'

The leader of one human rights group called the request "yet another damning indictment of the Duterte government's murderous policies that have killed—and continue to kill—thousands of Filipinos with impunity."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


EU Parliament Overwhelmingly Votes to End Caged Animal Farming

1.4 million people across Europe signed a petition to "End the Cage Age," and MEPs are now calling for a ban by 2027.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Frontline Foe of Formosa Plastics Plant in 'Cancer Alley' Among 2021 Winners of 'Green Nobels'

Sharon Lavigne, the North American recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize, is being recognized for stopping construction of a plastics manufacturing plant in her Louisiana community.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·