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US State Dept. will hire another 7,000 security contractors in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (KUNA) -- The US government will hire an additional 7, 000 security contractors once Congress approves the 2011 budget.
Speaking at the annual Arab-US Policymakers conference in Washington, Michael Corbin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for State for Iraq said security contractors will help "the Iraqi government improve its police department and other civil agencies." Corbin stated that State Department will hire another 7,000 security contractors once Congress comes through with a 2011 budget, in which State Department has requested USD 2.6 billion for operations in Iraq.
As the US military mission in Iraq continues to lessen; transfer to more civilian development focused operation is rapidly taking place, Corbin noted.
The State Department takes on greater roles training the Iraqi police and establishing a permanent diplomatic presence there, said Corbin.
Corbin watered down the role played by the regional powers in forming Iraq's new government, and stressed that the new government should be inclusive" and that "what the people of Iraq wants." (end) mns.bs KUNA 212344 Oct 10NNNN