Earlier this week, the Iraqi government announced that it intends to expel Blackwater USA, a private security firm, based in eastern North Carolina, from Iraq. On Sunday, some employees of Blackwater USA were involved in a shooting that left several Iraqi civilians dead. The company has government contracts to protect senior American personnel in Iraq. As a North Carolinian, I learned about Blackwater USA early. In 2004, my friend and former teacher, Barry Yeoman, profiled the company for Mother Jones magazine. Months later, Jay Price and Joseph Neff, staff writers for The News & Observer, wrote a series of articles about Blackwater USA. Now that the United States has a smaller military, private security companies have a lot of work. Is that a good thing? Since the war in Iraq began, nothing has happened to any of Blackwater USA's high-profile targets. Are they doing work that the American military simply cannot do?