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Rise of Islamic State fighters could spur resurgence of private military contractors




Iraqi army soldiers stand before boarding a military plane in Baghdad to fly to a conference on fighting the Islamic State group attended by Iraq's tribal leaders, militiamen and members of the government in Iraq's mainly Sunni Anbar province, on November 11, 2014. A team of US troops was on the ground in Iraq's Anbar province today as Washington steps up efforts to help Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State jihadist group.
Iraqi army soldiers stand before boarding a military plane in Baghdad to fly to a conference on fighting the Islamic State group attended by Iraq's tribal leaders, militiamen and members of the government in Iraq's mainly Sunni Anbar province, on November 11, 2014. A team of US troops was on the ground in Iraq's Anbar province today as Washington steps up efforts to help Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State jihadist group.
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

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The Pentagon and State Department are reacting to the ongoing extremist violence in Iraq and Syria by reaching out to private-sector security contractors for new roles and renewing old contracts. According to a new feature report by CQ Roll Call, the Army posted an "expansive announcement for 'Security Assistance Mentors and Advisors' in Iraq...to help the Baghdad government" in a wide variety of positions.

Underscoring the desperate situation for Iraqi leaders, yesterday in Baghdad, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi launched sweeping changed to the country's security forces by retiring 24 officials who failed to confront the IS crisis, according to the government. Meanwhile yesterday, 15 Iraqi policemen were killed by the extremist jihadi group. The bold assault happened at a checkpoint near the Syrian border. In the same region, more than 55 airstrikes were launched by U.S.-led forces over the weekend, according to U.S. Central Command.

With little desire for foreign boots on the ground, what role will a new batch of military contractors play?

Guests:

Laura Dickinson, Professor of Law, George Washington University; Author, “Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs;” Future of War Fellow with the New America Foundation's International Security Program

Sean McFate, Associate Professor, National Defense University, which provides Joint Professional Military Education to members of the U.S. Armed Forces; former U.S. Army officer and former project manager for military contractor DynCorp International; Author, “The Modern Mercenary and What They Mean for World Order”  to be published January 2, 2015