Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Truth about Pay, Rules Clarified

In a letter to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Anne E. Tyrrell clarified some of the popular misconceptions that still swirl in the media about private security contractors (PSCs).

With regards to levels of financial compensation, Tyrrell writes,
When you compare military compensation -- which includes base pay plus housing, tax benefits, education assistance, bonuses, retirement benefits and other benefits -- to the compensation offered Blackwater contractors (base pay only), the two are essentially equal.
Regarding rules of engagement and accountability mechanisms , Tyrrell explains:
Blackwater operates under detailed contracts with the US government that provide intensive government oversight, direction and control. Blackwater's contracts with the US government dictate almost every aspect of operation and contract performance, including the hiring, vetting guidelines, background checks, screening, training standards, rules of force and standards of conduct.
In conclusion:
Blackwater protects US officials so the military can focus on its mission. During our 17,000 missions in Iraq, 27 of our personnel have lost their lives. However, no individual we have protected has been killed or seriously injured. We consider our responsibility to protect US government employees, members of Congress and other diplomats in Iraq to be a very important duty.... While opinions on Blackwater may differ, your readers deserve the facts.

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