This is a welcome development, long overdue and of utmost neccessity. I would advocate the expulsion of private security firms from Iraq but we need to take account of a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal last week (not linked due to their subscription wall) that essentially came to the conclusion that it would be near impossible for the US to run the war without the services of Blackwater et all... Still, it is unconscionable that the rules now belatedly adapted were not in place to begin with.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has ordered new measures to improve government oversight of private security contractors used in Iraq.
It follows a review by an independent panel ordered after an incident last month involving the US firm Blackwater, in which some 17 Iraqi civilians died.
The steps include tightening the state department's rules of engagement so they are line with the military's.
Contractors will also have to undergo improved cultural awareness training.
There will also be better co-ordination with the US military and tighter restrictions on the use of force.
Boards will be set up to investigate any future killings involving private contractors in Iraq, and will have to power to refer cases to the US justice department.
Contractors will also have to have Arabic speakers on hand.