The government of the United States ignored a number of warnings against using private security firms in Iraq long before the scandal surrounding alleged misdeeds by the firm Blackwater, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
According to the report, the warnings came in the form of letters and memoranda from legal and military experts and in "high-level discussions" over the lack of accountability over the past two years of firms such as Blackwater.
The US military headquarters at the Pentagon and the US State Department took its first steps over supervision of the security firms after employees of Blackwater killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a firefight in mid-September.
The Washington Post further reported that the US State Department (the country's foreign ministry) and the Defence Department signed a memorandum of agreement defining their authority over the security firms on December 5, but there was still no clear legal framework governing these firms.
With between 20,000 to 48,000 employees in Iraq, private security firms are being used at their highest level ever by the United States in a time of war.
TAGS: Middle-East Iraq