Security Scrutiny

Carrie Levine, Legal Times

The trade association representing private security companies operating in Iraq has hired its first lobbyist. This comes as Congress moves toward more aggressive oversight of the security firms in the wake of several armed clashes between private guards and Iraqi nationals.

The Private Security Company Association of Iraq hired Jeffery Green, the former counsel for the House Armed Services Committee who left the Hill earlier this year to open his own firm, J.A. Green & Co. Green says he had previously been consulting for the group, which has about 40 members, and the association decided in September that it also needed him to lobby.

Green says circumstances “led the association to decide it was better to have an advocate that could go to Capitol Hill and explain the position of the industry and talk about some of the transparency and accountability initiatives under way in Iraq.”

The Iraq security industry has been rocked by recent hearings looking into the behavior of Blackwater USA, a member of the association, in an altercation that ended in the death of Iraqi civilians.