Raidon Tactics Inc., a North Carolina-based company, recently sent out emails to veteran Special Forces officers and enlisted personnel in efforts to build a force to conduct combat missions in Iraq. This is being done in response to President Obama’s pledge not to send U.S. ground troops to Iraq to fight against Islamic militants.
This request is an indication that private companies are exploring opportunities in Iraq due to the lack of U.S. military forces in the area. In this particular case, the job description clearly describes the work as combat employment. Recruits would be considered independent contractors and would deploy for six to eight months beginning in February or March and be compensated with a pay rate of between $1250 and $1750 per day. According to Erik Prince, the founder of the private security firm Blackwater, private contractors have the potential to take a leading role in the take down of the “Islamic State”, Islamic militants who have been operating out of Syria and Iraq. The involvement of private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has been on the rise over the past decade totaling more than half of the military force in areas ranging from private security to transportation and logistics to intelligence support.
These contractors have been the topic of much controversy over the past years because of operations that fall into gray areas as armed but non-uniformed civilians. Incidents of civilian casualties and injuries have added to the feeling of uncertainty of these companies role in combat. One particular incident involved Blackwater guards being responsible for the death of 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 17 civilians in Baghdad. In response, the government has held these companies and their employees to stricter oversight and accountability. The guards in this particular incident were sentenced to multiple charges ranging from murder to manslaughter by a federal jury.
Raidon Tactics is not requesting applicants for a simple job of personal security and protecting civilians. This job goes far above that level. According to the notice sent out, recruits will be required to perform missions such as “Combat Foreign Internal Defense, Direct Action and Strategic Reconnaissance”. Mission will require training, advising and fighting side by side with government forces against an internal threat. Acquiring and verifying targets, preforming ambushes and executing raids are also part of the job description. Qualified applicants must have served a minimum of seven years of service in a Special Forces group. The company’s owner, a former Special Forces non-commissioned officer, said he received great response to the job seeking notice. They are still waiting on a final approval from the host country before operations can begin.
No details were revealed pertaining to the mission and all recruits will be required to sign non-disclosure agreements before be briefed on the specifics of the job. Those who have receive the notice have expressed the benefit of using contractors as being politically advantageous because formerly trained personnel would be performing missions, yet the President will be staying true to his word by keeping ground troops out of Iraq. This will also lighten the load on the military’s Special Forces who have been stretched thin by mission after mission in various conflict areas worldwide and who are expected to stay engaged well after conventional troops are removed from an area.
Original Article published on Warrior.Scout by Ann Scott Tyson