Although the "official" United States military is supposed to be out of Iraq by the end of next year, it doesn't mean that "the" United States military will be out of Iraq anytime soon. It will be a private army, which will likely cost taxpayers a lot more money per "soldier".
Stars and Stripes report that:
In little more than a year, State Department contractors in Iraq could be driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance.Under the terms of a 2008 status of forces agreement, all U.S. troops must be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, but they’ll leave behind a sizable American civilian presence, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world, and five consulate-like "Enduring Presence Posts" in the Iraqi hinterlands.
Did you hear about this turn of events? Me neither:
With public attention riveted on the war in Afghanistan, the coming transition of the U.S. mission in Iraq has gotten relatively little notice by the news media.
The United States is now, more and more, supporting a private, mercenary Army, whose members make a hell of a lot more money than I did when I was in Iraq.
The arrangement is "one more step in the blurring of the lines between military activities and State Department or diplomatic activities..."
The State Department is requesting that the Defense Department turn over to them the war wagons and materiel that they need to take care of the job.
Sounds like it's time to buy stock in Blackwater.