It appears that Pentagon has publicly acknowledged that private intelligence contractors are now battling on the ground in Syria along with the US troops, providing “intelligence analysis services”; a fact noticed by the US-based news website The Daily Beast.
The website noticed “an eye-catching” announcement on the official website of the US Department of Defense.Every day at 5 pm the Pentagon releases a list of that day’s contracts worth more than $7 million.
The list of announcements for July 27 under the Release No: CR-143-16 has only two contracts in the Army section, one of which says that “Six3 Intelligence Solutions Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $ 9,578,964 modification (P00001) to contract W564KV-16-C-0058 for intelligence analysis services.”
What is even more notable, “[The] work will be performed in Germany, Italy, and Syria, with an estimated completion date of June 29, 2017. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $6,370,000 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany APO AE, is the contracting activity.”
Six3 Intelligence Solutions is a private intelligence company recently acquired by CACI International.
The company provides strategic solutions to the United States government agencies in the intelligence, defense, and civilian communities.
It offers intelligence solutions, such as identity intelligence and biometrics, forensics and analysis, counterintelligence operations support, HUMINT (human intelligence) operations support, anti-terrorism and force protection, diplomatic security support, consulting and policy development, and analytic transformation.The company also provides command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance solutions, including signal intercept and identification, electronic, communications, and geospatial intelligence solutions, threat warning systems and countermeasures, active electronic warfare systems, electronic tagging, tracking, locating solutions and communications reconnaissance.
It has previously provided intelligence services in Afghanistan and Europe, as well as supporting the “Counter-Insurgency Targeting Program,” and related intelligence and operational support for the Army National Ground Intelligence Center and US forces in Afghanistan, The Daily Beast cites the Defense Department’s contracts archive.
No information has been released on the number of people who might have to go into the country under this contract.
“It could be just a few (presumably well-paid) intelligence analysts augmenting a military unit or it could be many more,” the website suggests.
Sean McFate, a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, the author of Shadow War, and a former gun-for-hire himself told the website that “this is no ordinary contractor.”
“Six3 Intelligence Solutions is a private intelligence company, and the fact that we outsource a good portion of our intelligence analysis creates a strategic dependency on the private sector to perform vital wartime operations,” the outlet quotes him as saying.
However Andrei Frolov, from the Russian Center of Strategies and Technologies, says it could be just “bureaucratic tricks.”“Starting with the war in Afghanistan (from 2001), Pentagon and CIA has been more often shifting the responsibilities on people affiliated with these structures but at the same time not employed with the law-enforcement agencies,” he told Russian news website Svobodnaya Pressa.
This is just bureaucratic sleight of hand: while the number of employees within the agency is reduced, the employees are simply transferred to another company and continue being paid under other schemes.
Secondly, he notes, the attraction of private contractors does not bear any political risks: one can always claim that the contractors have voluntarily undertaken such a risky job.
Thirdly, the employees recruited for the announced “intelligence analysis services” are doing nothing serious but perform some minor job, relieving it from the actual employees.
So far, there has been no mention of private contractors going inside Syria with US troops, but military contracting and special operations experts said it is safe to assume that Six3 isn’t the first, The Daily Beast finally states.