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Xe, Formerly Known As Blackwater, Changes Name To Academi

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Newscom

Academi president and CEO Ted Wright told WSJ that the company has hired an outside company to help it apply for an operating licence in Iraq.

"I think eventually, we're going to get a license; we're going to do business in Iraq," Wright said.

The newspaper reports:

In its various incarnations, Academi has provided protective details for U.S. diplomats and officials in hot spots around the globe. But it is still excluded from one of the most lucrative markets for private security: The Iraqi government stripped the company of its operating license after the 2007 shootout.

Demand for security contractors in Iraq has surged, however. The State Department is hiring a large contract security force to protect the U.S. mission there, and private security firms also are eyeing possible work for energy companies as the Iraqi oil-and-gas sector opens up to foreign investment.