Aug 10

Spies-for-Hire Now at War in Syria:

It’s not just U.S. troops battling ISIS. Now the Army is sinking millions of dollars into private intelligence contractors for the fight.

Every day at 5 p.m., the Pentagon releases a list of that day’s contracts worth more than $7 million. On July 27, buried in the daily email was an eye-catching detail: Military contractors would be working inside Syria alongside the roughly 300 U.S. troops already deployed there.

This appears to be the first time the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged that private contractors are also playing a role in the fight against the so-called Islamic State inside Syria, and it’s one more signal that the U.S. military is deepening its involvement in the fate of the country.

The contract announcement said Six3 Intelligence Solutions—a private intelligence company recently acquired by CACI International—won a $10 million no-bid Army contract to provide “intelligence analysis services.” According to the Pentagon, the work will be completed over the next year in Germany, Italy and, most notably, Syria.

Beyond this, details are scant. For example, it is difficult to say, given how little information is available, how many contractors 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 Pentagon and CACI would not elaborate on the kind of work Six3 would be doing either, other than “intelligence analysis services,” which encompasses a broad spectrum of activities.

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