Contractors Leaving Saudi Arabia

Another reason why relying on contractors in a war zone is a really bad idea: After Attack, Company’s Staff Plans to Leave Saudi Arabia (NYT) [RSS]

The multinational engineering company whose offices in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, were hit Saturday by a deadly attack announced Sunday that it would evacuate other people on the project.

The company, ABB Lummus, a Houston-based subsidiary of ABB, the Swedish-Swiss engineering and oil services giant, gave its employees the choice of either staying with beefed-up security or leaving the kingdom. All the employees chose to leave within days, said Bjorn Edlund, the spokesman for the company at its corporate headquarters in Zurich, noting that several hundred other foreign employees working on ABB projects elsewhere in Saudi Arabia would remain.

I don’t blame them, of course. These people aren’t soldiers and being shot at isn’t in their job description. But it makes getting the mission done rather difficult if people have the option to leave when the going gets rough.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    These contractors are petrochemical engineers. They ARE NOT soldiers. They are there for the simple reason that the locals simply don’t want to do this type of work. Read up on the blog The Religious Policeman to get a feel of what kind of job Saudi feel dignified to do.