How Safe is this endeavor?

By Brittney Richerson

Graphic by Danie Clawson

G4S is the world’s largest security solutions provider, employing more than 625,000 people in more than 125 countries.

Its office in Erbil, the capital city in Kurdistan, is built on a secure compound, said Dr. Shawn Fouts, dean of career and technical education.

“It’s five acres, fenced in, and they secure it,” Fouts said. “That’s where the training will take place, and that’s where our instructor will live.”

Kurdistan became an autonomous region of Iraq in March 1970, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government website, After years of heavy fighting, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Mustafa Barzani, reached an agreement with Baghdad to grant Kurdistan independence as a region with representation in the Baghdad government.

“Since March 2003, not a single coalition soldier has died nor a single foreigner been kidnapped in the areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government,” reads a Kurdistan Regional Government brief available on its website. “With the cooperation of ordinary people, the Kurdistan Region’s security forces have kept the area safe and stable.“

According to the same brief, the Kurdistan Region has seven universities, including the English-language University of Kurdistan-Hawler in Erbil.

Erbil also has an international airport.

Fouts said the Marriott and Hilton corporations are building resort communities in Erbil.

“We feel really comfortable with G4S being the third largest employer in the world with an $11 billion-plus revenue stream,” he said. “We’re working with a company that is over 100 years old that is financially very secure.”


Originally published: Thursday, October 20, 2011

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