adBlockCheck

U.S. To Send 30,000 Mall Security Guards To Iraq

Top Headlines

International

Saudi Authorities Decry Wasteful 3-Hour Death-Row Appeals Process

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—Criticizing the amount of time and money wasted between a condemned individual’s sentencing and eventual execution, Saudi government officials expressed frustration Monday over the country’s costly three-hour appeals process for convicts facing the death penalty.

Goals Of The Paris Climate Talks

Over 150 world leaders are meeting in Paris this week to address the global effects of climate change in the hopes that a unified international effort can avert grave future consequences for the planet. Here are the major goals of the Paris climate talks

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America

Strategies To Defeat ISIS

Following last week’s deadly Paris attacks and numerous other violent incidents perpetrated by the terror group ISIS, many governments and populations worldwide are wondering how we can eliminate this threat. Here are some strategies to defeat the Islamic State:

Obama Returns From Trade Summit With 5 Stout Ships Full Of Cardamom, Silk, And Indigo

WASHINGTON— Exhausted, berimed with salt, and haggard from his long sea journey, but nevertheless triumphant as he guided his fleet to port following the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama is said to have made harbor in Washington, D.C.’s anchorage Monday, his five sturdy galleons choked to the very gunwales with the finest silks, casks of redolent cardamom, and great cakes of vivid dye-of-indigo retrieved from the far Orient.

Goals Of The U.N. General Assembly

The 70th United Nations General Assembly takes place this week, with member countries focusing on plans to address global sustainability, economic growth, and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other major topics. Here are the main goals of this year’s assembly:

Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Pope Francis is making his first visit to the U.S. this week, with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia as he speaks to government officials and conducts large-scale masses. Here is a full itinerary of the pope’s visit

A Primer On Pope Francis’ Views

Pope Francis has garnered much international attention in the first two and a half years of his papacy, taking a more liberal approach to women’s issues, the family unit, and the environment than his predecessors. Here is a primer on prominent global issues and the pope’s views on them:

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Entertainment

  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Television

U.S. To Send 30,000 Mall Security Guards To Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC—Pressed for additional troops to police the Iraqi general elections scheduled for January, the Pentagon announced Monday that it will dispatch 30,000 U.S. shopping-mall security guards to the troubled Sunni Triangle region.

A Brenneman Security guard, previously employed by the Northway Mall in Phoenix, patrols a Najaf street.

"A force of security guards trained to protect retail stores across America will be deployed to the Persian Gulf region," said Maj. Peter Archibald, a spokesman for Central Command. "Once in Iraq, security teams will fortify ground forces and assist them in keeping the peace and quelling any horseplay."

According to Archibald, the Pentagon wanted to bolster forces in Iraq without further extending the tours of soldiers currently in the theater. The solution should offer the additional advantage, Archibald said, of potentially dispelling the public's rising concerns over a possible military draft.

"We found that mall security guards are as well-trained and ready to face danger as the coalition-trained military police," Archibald said. "They may not have the power of arrest, but real authority is only a walkie-talkie call away."

Hired by the Defense Department through a number of licensed, reputable firms, the security guards will work independent of the roughly 135,000 troops currently stationed in Iraq. The guards will receive an hourly wage from the U.S. government, and they will be eligible for health and dental benefits after six months.

A test deployment of 1,000 mall security guards to Najaf in September convinced skeptical coalition officials that private-sector security forces provide a palpable sense of order.

"Iraqi patrons of mall-guard-patrolled marketplaces—the Iraqi equivalent of our nation's food courts—reported that the guards' uniformed presence was unobtrusive or even reassuring," Archibald said. "While many Iraqis are intimidated by soldiers from the U.S., they were largely able to disregard the mall security forces."

Archibald said that casualty rates for the mall security guards were only slightly higher than those among Iraqi police forces.

Bobby Adcock, 27, of Bakersfield, CA, was rejected for military service in August 2002, due to poor eyesight and excessive weight. He was hired by A-Star Security shortly thereafter, and was surprised to find himself patrolling an Iraqi bazaar in a Ford Taurus two years later.

"The work is similar in a lot of ways," Adcock said, pausing mid-sentence to order a nearby Iraqi to pick up a candy wrapper and a blood-spattered keffiyeh. "I thought maybe I'd be dodging artillery fire and flushing insurgents out of hiding places, but mostly I stand around and keep my eyes peeled for trouble. Just the other day, we caught some vandals spray-painting 'Go home USA' on the side of a building. Then, there's the suspicious package sightings. Fortunately, a good number of those turn out to be false alarms."

"All in all, it's an okay assignment," Adcock said. "The food is strange, except for those lamb kebabs. Those aren't bad. The break room is just a shed out in back of a used-electronics store, but I don't want to complain. I'm getting a lot of overtime."

Dale London, 47, is employed by Five-Eagle Security, based in Ames, IA. A former Loews Cineplex security guard who spent three years as an airport metal-detector operator, London now patrols the streets of Najaf.

"I had to retrain my eye to spot the particular dangers over here in sand-land," London said. "Yesterday, this kid with a bulge down his shirtfront comes around the corner. When I ask him to undo his jacket, wouldn't you know, there's a grenade launcher. Well, I hustled his keister right behind the falafel stand and told him the next time I saw his face around here, I'd turn him over to the coalition. Then I called his mullah to come pick him up."

Added London: "I never figured out where he shoplifted the grenade launcher from, so I took it to our lost and found. If any Najaf shopkeepers out there are missing a grenade launcher, they should contact me, Dale London, at the Five-Eagle Security station. It's near the grocery where they sell that funny sesame candy."

While the security guards' power is limited by international law, they are authorized to alert coalition forces in the event of trouble. Last week, a Marine platoon was dispatched after Adcock noticed that a vehicle had been parked unattended in an abandoned lot for several hours.

"We inspected the car, but it contained no bomb or weapons," Marine Sgt. Michael Shahinian, 25, said. "Weird thing is, turns out the call came from this guy Bobby Adcock, who was two grades above me at Bakersfield High School. I guess he's a pop cop working here now. Holy shit. I wonder if he ever did pass that shop class we had together."

Rebecca Chatelain, a research associate at the Institute For Defense Analysis, expressed misgivings over the use of mall security guards in Iraq.

"The situation there is extremely volatile," Chatelain said. "The guards may provide a layer of security, but it's more psychological than actual. Any determined insurgent will soon discover how easy it is to overcome a lightly armed, out-of-shape mall cop. I'd hate to see a repeat of what happened in Somalia."

Chatelain was referring to a 1993 incident in which several dozen American prom chaperones were sent to Somalia along with U.N. peacekeeping troops. All were shot by factional guerrillas within hours of their arrival.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close