Members of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA), a US “trade group” that represents a number of US military contractors, has formally requested that the US State Department and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervene on their behalf in a growing dispute with the Iraqi government.
The ISOA, whose members are a veritable who’s who of US military contractors, are complaining that a large number of their members’ employees, who are still operating in Iraq under US contracts, are being arrested.
The exact details of those arrests are unclear, but reports say that hundreds of contractors have been captured at checkpoints in and around the Baghdad airport, mostly over complaints about the validity of documents, and in many cases held without charges.
So far US officials haven’t made any public comments about the arrests, but the situation is particularly awkward for the Obama Administration, which has cheered the Maliki government’s attempts to arrest political rivals but whose presence in Iraq is dependent on a “private army” of military contractors.
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