Stung by lawsuits, protests, government audits, criminal charges and negative media attention, executives from the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide say providing security in Iraq and elsewhere has become a drain on the company’s future and will be gradually all but phased out. However, there are no immediate plans to end the contract with the State Department which became so controversial after the company’s agents went on a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad last year.
Over the last year, Blackwater Worldwide has been under fire from critics at home and abroad, but that hasn’t stopped the private security firm. In fact, the State Department has just re-upped Blackwater’s Iraq contract, thanks in part to the magic of lobbying. Also, State Department officials don’t seem to think they have much choice.