Blackwater, still in the game

The Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein reports that the private security contractor everyone loves to hate has just come back on radar this morning after months of radio silence: The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to ...

John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images

The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports that the private security contractor everyone loves to hate has just come back on radar this morning after months of radio silence:

The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source.

The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million, said the industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal, which is classified.

The Washington Posts Jeff Stein reports that the private security contractor everyone loves to hate has just come back on radar this morning after months of radio silence:

The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source.

The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million, said the industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal, which is classified.

Whether as part of a separate contract or the same one, Blackwater has played a significant role guarding U.S. Special Forces sites in Afghanistan before. And just last week, the State Department awarded Blackwater with a $120 million contract to guard its consulates in the country. For all the controversy over its involvement in the 2007 Nisour Square shooting, it’s clear Blackwater is still the U.S. government’s tool of choice when it comes to security.

The good news is that these contracts hire Blackwater to provide static security rather than moving security — guarding buildings and stationary targets rather than escorting VIPs in armed convoys. No doubt the company’s eager to avoid another Nisour-type disaster already, but stationing operatives in front of a gate is probably the best way to use these armed contractors if we have to use them at all.

Brian Fung is an editorial researcher at FP.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.