A friend emailed wondering whether the private contractor they referred to might be Blackwater, whose Iraqi troops have been much in the news, recently. But if I were laying odds, I'd guess this news bodes well for the bottom line of Dyncorp, a competing mercenary firm that operates the drug-interdiction programs in South America and Afghanistan. See an earlier Grits profile of Dyncorp, who I'm happy to notice has made Congressman Henry Waxman's oversight list. Several Texas Congressmen would even like to hire DynCorp to supplement the US Border Patrol, which sounds like a particularly terrible idea. Those further interested in DynCorp, since they may become a more important player in the regional anti-drug effort, may also want to see this report on their training program for Iraqi police to get a sense of how they handled that job - i.e., overall, badly. Auditors from the Inspector General:
did not have the information needed to identify what DynCorp ... provided under the contract or how funds were spent. [The government] has a number of initiatives to improve its management and oversight of the contract and recoup funds inappropriately paid to DynCorp. Because of these problems and initiatives, [the government] has temporarily suspended this work.That's a pretty rough recommendation from DynCorp's last employer, which if it lands the Mexico anti-drug contract will also be its next employer. One begins to wonder, how badly do you have to screw up to get fired if you're a private mercenary?