• God’s Will: Academi and Mercs at State

    June 14, 2012 // 9 Comments »



    I wrote recently about the return of Blackwater to the State Department, with the mercenary guns-for-hire company changing its name once again (now called Academi in a homage to bad spelling) and buying an existing contract to put it back into the State Department’s world.

    It gets creepier, as government seems to get these days.

    Slam Dunk on Inman

    Academi now boasts two celebrities on its Board of Directors, former attorney general John Ashcroft and retired admiral Bobby Inman. Ashcroft of course is Mr. Homeland Security, the guy who set in motion the smorgasbord of unconstitutional wiretapping, spying and detentions without trial that followed 9/11. He is also the guy who was so offended by the marble statues at the Department of Justice that he had them draped to hide classical nude details.

    From a State Department-Blackwater love fest perspective, Inman is a slam-dunk. Inside Foggy Bottom, Inman is permanently associated with the up-armoring of embassies abroad through the 1985 “Inman Report,” a call to arms that resulted in the moated, blast-proof, unapproachable fortress embassies America promotes its image through today. The Report was also the catalyst for the establishment of the part of the State Department which titularly oversees the deployment of mercenaries, everyone’s favorite Bureau of Diplomatic Security, DS. Inman’s word is gospel to DS, so his appearance on the Academi Board is no accident.

    Small World

    Keeping the circle of life theme going, Academi’s CEO Ted Wright used to be president of mega-contractor KBR, the firm Dick Cheney worked for and the firm that made billions running the backstage logistics portion of the Iraq and Afghan crusades. One of Academi’s VPs worked for Queen Noor of Jordan, and has ties to the Bush dynasty. It is indeed a small world.

    More creepiness?

    Academi, on its “pro shop” web site, sells God’s Will T-shirts, pictured above. Just the thing for the budding merc crusader to wear while gunning down Muslims for profit. Jeez, and people wonder why we’re not winning.

    A Devil’s Bargain

    In the days since 9/11, State has undergone a fundamental shift, one that has required the organization to make a Devils’ Bargain with mercenaries like Academi. Prior to 9/11, State’s policy was generally to evacuate embassies in countries at war, reinserting diplomats when things quieted down to the point that diplomacy was again possible. This strategy worked well for some 220 years of American history.

    After 9/11, State felt compelled to out-macho the military, to prove its manliness in the testosterone-fueled Bush (and now Obama) years. This meant opening and/or keeping open embassies in the midst of shooting wars, originally just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now spread alongside America’s increasingly one-tune foreign policy of belligerence to places like South Sudan, Yemen and elsewhere in drone land. The US military, already stretched thin by endless war, has neither the forces nor the interest in guarding State’s pasty pseudo warriors, and so the Department of State is forced to turn to private armies, like Academi, mercenaries, to enable its macho posture abroad.

    I saw groups like Blackwater in action in Iraq, often alongside our own military. The mercs were what our military would be like without the NCO corps to enforce discipline, a frat house with guns, lots of guns. While State makes wordplay out of claiming to supervise its mercs, overpaid, ‘roided ‘dudes with guns named Smitty, J-Dub, Spider and the like take little notice when requested to follow the laws of war in protecting diplomats so far out of their environments. It is a situation that isn’t just likely to go wrong, it is one that practically demands to devolve into crisis.

    The solution is straightforward. State should understand and admit that it is neither equipped, trained nor needed for combat situations. State should take a step back from adventures that assure its role as negotiators, diplomats, public diplomacists and the like will be misunderstood at best, and refocus its resources away from spending billions on private armies. Until then, State is forced into bed with creepy organizations like Academi, and will suffer for it.



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq

    Huzzah: Blackwater is Back at the State Department!

    June 12, 2012 // 5 Comments »

    Your mercenary update: There’s a new merc company out there, ACADEMI, but it actually is the same company formerly known as Xe which is the same company formerly known as Blackwater.

    Last month, apparently without attracting any public attention (until now), they quietly bought another security firm, International Development Solutions, and took over its piece of the State Department’s $10 billion World Protective Services contract, which then-Blackwater got kicked out of years ago.

    A good way to keep up with all things Blackwater, er, Xe, Academi, whatever is the web site AcademiWatch.

    Also, some awesome video of the Blackwater bullies in action in Iraq, winning hearts and minds for ‘Merica.


    Blackwater is back, baby!

    Blackwater and State have a, well, history. Records released after a four year FOIA fight between the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the web site Gawker show that mercenaries, primarily from Blackwater, shot and sometimes killed a lot of Iraqis in the name of protecting America’s diplomats while under contract with the State Department. The mercs, er, the private security companies, were supposed to be operating under the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s command and control but instead shot up Iraq like outcasts from the Road Warrior.

    The 4500 FOIA’ed pages released are filled with contact/incident reports. Every time a Blackwater shooter cranked off a few rounds at some Iraqi, he was supposed to file a report. State’s Diplomatic Security would validate the shoot as having taken place under its own rules and that would be that. No attempts were made to seriously investigate anything, no attempts were made to find out what happened to any of the Iraqis popped by American hired guns and certainly no attempts to rein in Blackwater are documented.

    And now, Blackwater and State are back, together again, baby! Get some!



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq

    Legacy: Who is Accountable in Iraq?

    January 8, 2012 // Comments Off

    Responsibility starts with the trigger puller, but ends in the White House

    (This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post)

    With only a handful Christmas shopping days left, we can tell that the US military involvement in Iraq is coming to an end. Talk in the media, in the White House and in the barracks has turned to legacy. Liz Sly of the Washington Post has a sad, important story about the legacy of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    The story highlights, if that word is even permissible here, some of the long series of atrocities committed by the US in Iraq, instances where our killing of civilians, whether by accident or as purposeful vengeance or something smeared in-between, ruined any chance that the US could in fact capture those hearts and minds and build a stable society in our image. We could hold ground with tanks but only achieve our broader national security goals via reconstruction.

    While focusing on the massacre at Haditha, Sly also references the killings at Nisoor Square by Blackwater under the “control” of the State Department and several other examples. In a sad coda to the war, even online she did not have space to touch upon all of the incidents, so ones like the aerial gunning down of civilians captured so brilliantly in the film Incident in New Baghdad, or the rape-murder of a child and her family from the book Black Hearts are missing.

    There are just too many dead.

    Black Hearts

    The Black Hearts killings are especially significant to me. I read that book while in Iraq, learning that in 2005 American soldiers raped and killed a 14 year old child, murdering her family and setting fire to her home to hide the evidence. About a third of the way into the book I realized that the incident took place only a mile or two from where I sat, that it took place in the area where my Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) worked, that we regularly visited the town nearest the kill site. Yet none of us knew this. I asked my State Department colleagues, as well as the soldiers we were embedded with, and while some had heard of the atrocity, all were surprised to learn it took place on ground we regularly traveled. It was never included in any of our preparatory briefings for Iraq service. Our bosses wanted us ignorant, or, more likely, were ignorant themselves. The chain of responsibility, even for knowing, ran higher up than us.

    You can damn well bet that the Iraqis we met remembered, even if we did not.

    It was that realization that informed my comments to Sly, quoted in her Washington Post article:


    We tried to convince them we were the good guys and that we’d got rid of Saddam, but given all the killings that had happened, that never hung together… It’s in the air, it’s in the water, it’s the background music to what we do. The Iraqis remember it even if we don’t. It will be a very dark legacy, and it’s one that will follow us around the Middle East.



    Sly’s article also quotes retired Army Colonel Pete Mansoor, who commanded a combat brigade in Baghdad in 2003-04 and then returned as executive officer to David Petraeus during the Surge, explaining the fog of war, the ambiguity of decision making in a chaotic urban counter-insurgency struggle, and exonerating those who made wrong, fatal decisions by saying “when you look at it from the soldiers’ point of view, it was justified. It’s very hard.”

    Though I doubt he would find many Iraqis who would agree with him, and though I do doubt Mansoor would accept a similar statement by an Iraqi (“Sorry we killed your soldiers, it was hard to tell the good ones from the bad ones”), I sort of agree. Sort of.

    Iraq Worked Like This

    I spent a sweaty cold night at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Baghdad hanging around with soldiers who spent more than too many nights out there. Soldiers who would joke about anything became really quiet on a checkpoint because they knew they would be making kill-or-be-killed decisions many times that night.

    Within the limits of available electricity, they would try to light up the spot as best they could so drivers could see them. Iraq at night was a dark and dangerous place, and drivers were not going to stop without a good reason. The next step was to somehow communicate to drivers that they had to stop. You could start with big signs in Arabic and English that told folks to slow down, but there was that light problem again, plus many Iraqis were illiterate. You could set up all manner of flashers and twirling things— a good start but ambiguous. Drivers might think it was a wedding party (plenty of guns there as well). Car bombs were a big thing to be scared of at a checkpoint. Usually the explosives were intended for some other target and were just passing through your ’point. But if the driver thought you were on to him, he’d blow up the car bomb right there and never mind the real target. Checkpoints made everyone nervous, and nervous people and guns were a bad mix.

    As cars approached, soldiers would be thinking about the ROE, rules of engagement, which stipulate when you are allowed to kill someone. Even wars have rules, and nobody went outside the wire without knowing exactly what they were. At a checkpoint they typically went like this: Try to stop the car with lights, sound, and hand gestures. If it keeps coming, try shining a laser or bright light at the driver (called “beaming”). If that does not work, fire a warning shot or a nonlethal round. Still coming? Fire into the engine block to disable the car. Not enough? Kill the driver.

    In theory, this all seemed logical enough. In reality, it didn’t work as well. The soldier might have been up the last eighteen hours on patrol and is staying awake only with the constant application of Rip It energy drinks and instant coffee crystals crunched between bites of candy. Last night one of his buddies was almost killed by a driver who got scared and hit the gas. He is on the move and sweating despite the cool weather because standing still anywhere, never mind under bright lights, can attract snipers and he does not want to get popped. The vehicle approaching has only one headlight and it looks like there are several people in the front seat, where there are usually only one or two. In the span of three seconds he needs to try to wave down the driver, beam him with the laser if the guy doesn’t slow down, fire a nonlethal round if he keeps going, and then switch weapons and be ready to take a life. He’s Zeus, Thor throwing lightning bolts. Make the decision. Shoot or don’t shoot. Decide.

    He doesn’t shoot this time. The vehicle with one headlight slowed down of its own accord late in the cycle. Maybe the driver couldn’t find the brake, maybe the brake didn’t work, maybe he was rehearsing for a suicide run later that week, who knows, he slowed and stopped. Front seat full of kids, driver dad, mom in the backseat with a baby. They stopped, the search came up empty, the IDs didn’t have any of the unpronounceable Iraqi names on the bad-guy list. They pulled out, likely with no idea the soldier had just weighed their lives against his. He chugged another hit of energy drink and waited for the next car.

    Who is Responsible?

    The issue of legacy is not so much how/when/should we assign blame and punishment to an individual soldier, but to raise the stakes and ask: why have we not assigned blame and demanded punishment for the leaders who put those 19 year old soldiers into the impossible situations they faced? Before we throw away the life of a kid who shot when he should not have done so, why don’t we demand justice for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the others for creating a war that created such fertile ground for atrocity? The chain of responsibility for the legacy left behind in Iraq ran higher up than us.

    In this rare moment of American reflection about Iraq that the military pull-out offers us, ask the bigger question, demand the bigger answer. Those Iraqis– and those Americans– killed and died because they were put there to do so by the decisions of our leaders. Hold them accountable for their actions, hold them accountable for America’s legacy in Iraq.

    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq

    Getting Away with Diplomatic Murder

    December 17, 2011 // 1 Comment »

    (This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post)

    New records released after a four year FOIA fight between the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the web site Gawker show that mercenaries, primarily from Blackwater, shot and sometimes killed a lot of Iraqis in the name of protecting America’s diplomats. The mercs, er, the private security companies, were supposed to be operating under the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s command and control but instead shot up Iraq like outcasts from the Road Warrior.

    History, right? No, because those same administrators in Diplomatic Security that allowed Blackwater to run wild are in charge of 5,500 new private security contractors hired to protect the World’s Largest Embassy now that the US Army has bugged out of Iraq. Here’s what can go wrong.

    The 4500 pages just released are filled with contact/incident reports from 2004-2007. Every time a Blackwater shooter cranked off a few rounds at some Iraqi, he was supposed to file a report. Diplomatic Security would validate the shoot as having taken place under its own rules and that would be that. No attempts were made to seriously investigate anything, no attempts were made to find out what happened to any of the Iraqis popped by American hired guns and certainly no attempts to rein in Blackwater are documented. You can read the full trove, or feast on some highlights Gawker has pulled out.

    Here’s one example:


    In February 2005, a Blackwater team fired hundreds of rounds at two different “aggressive” cars during an operation in Baghdad. Team members subsequently told State Department investigators that 1) one of the cars’ occupants fired on them, striking a vehicle in the motorcade, and 2) one of the cars was on a Be on the Lookout list as a suspected insurgent vehicle. Both were lies.

    State Department investigators came to the conclusion that the Blackwater team was unjustified in firing on the cars, coordinated their stories to avoid suspicion, and lied about it later.

    When investigators briefed [the State Department Regional Security Officer, RSO] on their findings and inquired about what disciplinary actions were to occur, RSO informed the investigators that any disciplinary actions would be deemed as lowering the morale of the entire [personal security detail] entity.” No one knows if the occupants of the targeted cars were injured of killed.



    Or this email from an Embassy staffer:


    When was the last time we looked into all the other contractor PSD elements running around Iraq? I’m hearing stories of quite a few PSD elements moving from Mosul to Irbil firing up to 50 rounds per move and using bullets like we use hand and arm signals, flashers, or a water bottle. [PSD = Personal Security Detachment. PSD Security teams would often toss plastic water bottles at the windshield of a suspicious car to get the driver's attention—Ed.]



    Nisoor Square

    The public reason for the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq is that Iraq refused to grant them immunity from local law, particularly immunity should they kill any Iraqi. But despite the long legacy of bloodshed which became frighteningly common place for many Iraqis, the refusal of immunity is more likely tied to one horrible, bad day in Nisour Square, where in 2007 Blackwater mercenaries hired by the State Department gunned down 14-17 Iraqis and wounded 20 more. Such killings occurred almost daily in Iraq, but what made this one tragically memorable is that despite almost overwhelming evidence that the victims were innocent, technicalities in U.S. law were used to prevent the shooters from being prosecuted.

    Good news: State’s current 5,500 mercs in Iraq have been granted immunity from local law, under existing diplomatic agreements. They’ll be free to do what the US military could not, kill Iraqis as needed by America.

    Hasn’t State cleaned up its command and control act since 2007?

    A now-defunct watchdog panel, the Commission on Wartime Contracting, has questioned whether the State Department is prepared to continue its work in Iraq once the US military withdraws. “Our concerns remain very much alive,” the commission’s co-chairman, Christopher Shays, said in his opening statement back in June 2011.

    Shays also focused on what he said was State Department refusal to document its rationale for not taking action against contractors officially recommended for suspension or disbarment. “That response approaches the borderline of government negligence,” Shays said.

    The sole witness appearing before the panel was Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy. He described how the Department has increased its oversight of contractors. Among other things, State has hired 102 additional people in Washington to administer these contracts.

    In Iraq, basically the already over-worked Regional Security Officer (RSO) will oversee any whacky hijinks of the merc army. In fact, they might even do bed checks: Kennedy stated “Collocation of contractor life-support areas on Embassy, Consulate, or Embassy Branch Office compounds will enhance after-hours oversight of contractor personnel,” so it’s lights out on time guys and no doing vodka shots off each others’ butts like in Afghanistan.

    But what will cause an already busy RSO to really focus on stopping State Department-sponsored murder in Iraq? Kennedy explained “As initial steps, this summer we plan to create a Contracting Officer Representative (COR) Award to highlight contract administration achievements, and publish an article in State Magazine highlighting the importance of contract administration and the valuable role of the COR.” Magazine article, got it, feelin’ safer already.

    But what about stuff like in 2007 when State’s Blackwater mercs gunned down unarmed Iraqis in Nisour Square? Kennedy again: “Improving the image of the security footprint through enhanced cultural sensitivity: Mandatory country-specific cultural awareness training for all security contractors prior to deployment to Iraq; Revised standards of conduct, including a ban on alcohol.”

    Of course allowing the mercs to drink in Iraq (And Christ do they drink. I saw it myself. The wildest, most debauched parties, including public nudity, cross-dressing and group vomiting ever were on the security contractor compounds and I say that having gone to a football-heavy state school) from 2003 until today has worked out, so wonder why the change now Pat?

    “We fully understand that we still have challenges ahead as we carry out our diplomatic missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations where we rely on contingency contracting,”

    Bottom Line

    Perhaps none of this will matter. American Ambassador James Jeffrey, in Baghdad, said that “If we move out into the Iraqi economy, out into the Iraqi society in any significant way, it will be much harder to protect our people.” Perhaps America’s diplomats will remain inside their compound and have little need to call out their guards.

    Absolutely nothing in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s public history of exercising command and control over its large mercenary army would allow one to conclude that the future looks good. Instead, the likelihood of large groups of armed men, hired to kill if necessary on behalf of America’s diplomats, will write the more significant chapters of our continued engagement with Iraq. In Iraq, 2012, God save the Iraqis who cross them.




    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq

    Blackwater Faces Another Suit for Cheating State Department

    July 15, 2011 // Comments Off

    It is beginning to become more and more clear why these wars are so darn expensive: the State Department keeps tossing away money on things they never receive.

    Employees of the security contractor previously known as Blackwater filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit in US District Court alleges that Blackwater (now known as “Mr. John Smith”) overbilled for protecting State Department employees in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Blackwater billed the State Department for sniper services from one individual who sat behind a desk, probably without a rifle. In at least one other case, the company allegedly billed for services provided by a marksman who had failed a required drug test. A spokesman for Moyock, N.C.-based mercenary company declined comment, citing the pending legal action.

    In addition to the ongoing hilarity involving anything “contracty” that the State Department touches in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steady drumbeat of these kinds of lawsuits and investigations drives home the point that after ten years of wars of terror, State still has not figured out how to supervise the thuggish contractors they employ. It is equally clear that those contractors sure as hell have figured out the game, and feel free to shoot people, double bill or just outright steal money, knowing the consequences of getting caught are few.

    Kinda like working for the White House, consequence-free no matter what happens. Viva!



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq

    How to Get Free Government Money!

    June 16, 2011 // 1 Comment »

    These two stories are unrelated:

    June 6, 2011: DynCorp International, the largest contractor in Afghanistan, has refunded a portion of $40.8 million to the State Department for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    June 13, 2011: DynCorp International announced that it has been selected by the Department of State as one of five providers on the Criminal Justice Program Support contract.

    These two stories are also unrelated:

    August 20, 2010: Blackwater Worldwide reached an agreement with the State Department to pay $42 million for hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations.

    October 1, 2010: Blackwater has won a piece of a five-year State Department contract worth up to $10 billion.


    This story is also unrelated to any of the above:

    (2008) “When I am president I will ask the Joint Chiefs for their help in reducing reliance on armed private military contractors with the goal of ultimately implementing a ban on such contractors,” (then Candidate Hillary Clinton) declared. Clinton slammed Obama on this issue: “Senator Obama and I have a substantive disagreement here. He won’t rule out continuing to use armed private military contractors in Iraq.”

    Clinton released a statement saying she would endorse the Stop Outsourcing Security Act to “ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq.” She declared, “The time to show these contractors the door is long past due.”




    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq

    State Department has no Plan for Mercenary Management

    June 7, 2011 // Comments Off

    Attention Kids: When faced with a big problem, simply saying “Hey, don’t worry, everything will be fine!” only works if you are a really sympathetic Mommy or the State Department.

    I saw Pat Kennedy at the Seven Corners Home Depot on Sunday, buying garden stuff. He looked worried so I didn’t say hello. I thought maybe he had some nasty leaf mold problems, but now I know it was more serious. Sorry Pat, I hope the flowers work out, because…

    CNN reports The State Department came under sharp criticism Monday over how it hires and monitors thousands of private contractors.

    A watchdog panel, the Commission on Wartime Contracting, has questioned whether the State Department is prepared to continue its work in Iraq once the US military withdraws. “Our concerns remain very much alive,” the commission’s co-chairman, Christopher Shays, said in his opening statement.

    Shays also focused on what he said was State Department refusal to document its rationale for not taking action against contractors officially recommended for suspension or disbarment. “That response approaches the borderline of government negligence,” Shays said.

    The sole witness appearing before the panel was Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy. He described how the Department has increased its oversight of contractors. Among other things, State has hired 102 additional people in Washington to administer these contracts. Whew. 0

    In Iraq, basically the already over-worked Regional Security Officer (RSO) will oversee any whacky hijinks of the merc army. In fact, they might even do bed checks: Kennedy stated “Collocation of contractor life-support areas on Embassy, Consulate, or Embassy Branch Office compounds will enhance after-hours oversight of contractor personnel,” so it’s lights out on time guys and no doing vodka shots off each others’ butts like in Afghanistan.

    But what will cause an already busy RSO to really focus on stopping State Department-sponsored murder in Iraq? Kennedy explained “As initial steps, this summer we plan to create a Contracting Officer Representative (COR) Award to highlight contract administration achievements, and publish an article in State Magazine highlighting the importance of contract administration and the valuable role of the COR.” Magazine article, got it, feelin’ safer already.

    But what about stuff like in 2007 when State’s Blackwater mercs gunned down unarmed Iraqis in Nisour Square? Kennedy again: “Improving the image of the security footprint through enhanced cultural sensitivity: Mandatory country-specific cultural awareness training for all security contractors prior to deployment to Iraq; Revised standards of conduct, including a ban on alcohol.”

    Of course allowing the mercs to drink in Iraq (And Christ do they drink. I saw it myself. The wildest, most debauched parties, including public nudity, cross-dressing and group vomiting ever were on the security contractor compounds and I say that having gone to a football-heavy state school) from 2003 until today has worked out, so wonder why the change now Pat?

    So what about that little problem about not prosecuting mercs for murder in Iraq? Kennedy acknowledges that there really isn’t any law to cover things just right now as previous State agreements exempt mercs from Iraqi law, but “The Department of State strongly supports the legislative goal of passing a robust and comprehensive Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA) that provides clear and unambiguous jurisdiction to prosecute non-Department of Defense personnel for overseas misconduct. We look forward to working with Congress on CEJA legislation.” And in the meantime boys, its lock and load time with no bag limit on ‘dem hajiis!

    “We fully understand that we still have challenges ahead as we carry out our diplomatic missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations where we rely on contingency contracting,” Kennedy said, probably wishing he worked at Home Depot.

    Bottom Line:
    A military forced into diplomacy in Iraq will be replaced by a militarized State Department equally unprepared for the task.

    Read Kennedy’s full statement if you think I am making this stuff up.

    Diplomats: Better think over who has your backs and give those bids lists one more look-over before hitting submit.



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq