Unpaid British Mercs Close Baghdad Airport

A British firm hired to provide security at Baghdad Airport closed it after failing to get paid for seven months.

Baghdad airport closed by ‘unpaid’ UK security firm (Independent – UK)

The Iraqi government ordered its troops to reopen Baghdad airport yesterday after a British security company charged with protecting it, closed it, claiming it had not been paid for seven months. Iraqi government officials reacted furiously to the action by the Global Strategies Group, saying it was an attack on Iraq’s sovereignty.

American soldiers joined security men from Global at the first checkpoint at the entrance to the airport and were blocking Interior Ministry troops, who had been sent to reopen the facility. The Iraqi soldiers eventually withdrew late yesterday.

“This issue is related to Iraq and, and nobody is authorised to close the airport,”the acting Transport Minister Esmat Amer said. He added that the cabinet approved the use of Interior Ministry troops.

Baghdad international airport is the safest link between the Iraqi capital and the outside world. All the roads out of Baghdad are highly dangerous because of attacks by insurgents and bandits.

Global said in a statement: “Global has been in constant negotiations with senior members of the Iraqi government, which is currently not paying the company. Once payment has been made by the client, Global will resume its work and thus allow normal air operations to resume.”

This gives new meaning to the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, ,
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. bryan says:

    So this is sort of like the Northwest mechanics, right?

  2. Jim Henley says:

    Did you get this story from Chrenkoff’s “good news” update?

  3. I’ve found that “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always ring true, but that “you don’t get you you don’t pay for” always rings true.