1. Transition

    Iraq Detains U.S. Contractors

    WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12:  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki answers reporters' questions during a news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House  December 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. Al-Maliki is in Washington for talks ahead of the December 31 full withdrawl of U.S. troops from Iraq and the end of a deeply divisive nine-year war.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    The thousands of foreign contractors still in Iraq are finding it harder to work with the government now that the military has withdrawn. Shortly after U.S. troops withdrew, Iraq stopped issuing and renewing many weapons permits, and made getting visas more difficult. Consequently, in the last few weeks Iraqi authorities have detained hundreds of foreign contractors over issues with their visas and weapons permits. Despite officially withdrawing, the U.S. Embassy employees 5,000 contractors to protect ints employees and to train the Iraqi military. The oil industry also relies heavily on foreign contractors.

    Read it at The New York Times