13 May 2010
Australian Embassy in Baghdad to be guarded by mercenaries
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advertised for expressions of interest from private military firms to provide security for the embassy.
The mercenaries will take over security of the Australian Embassy in Baghdad as Australia’s own military withdraws from Iraq over the next two to three years.
The federal budget included the provision of $61.6 million over three years to continue security measures for the Australian Embassy and staff in Baghdad: $33 million is allocated to be spent in the first year.
Currently, 65 defence force personnel provide security and support for the Australian Embassy and its staff in Iraq, with the move to a contracted security arrangement expected to give significant savings for the Federal Government.