According to Stars and Stripes, the internal newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Army Contracting Command is currently recruiting contractors for an initial one-year stint on the ground in Iraq.

The newspaper points out that the Obama administration is not willing to deploy a large number of regular troops to fight against the Islamic State and plans to outsource some of their operations.

The tasks entrusted to the contractors will be geared towards Arab-Kurdish and Shiite-Sunni reconciliation, which would mark a change of tactics by the U.S. in Iraq where, in 2005, Washington had imposed the adoption of a constitution dividing the nation into regions and communities.

The extensive use of contractors was started in the early 2000s by Donald Rumsfeld, who had sought to privatize the armed forces. It gradually lost steam after the military failure in Iraq.

In place of ‘boots on the ground’, US seeks contractors for Iraq”, by Seth Robson, Stars and Stripes, 7 September 2014.