Edwards Would Place Restrictions On Blackwater-type Security Firms

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards wants to limit the role of security contractors working in Iraq and elsewhere.

His remarks planned for today target Blackwater USA, the Moyock-based private security firm under investigation for its role in a Sept. 16 incident in Baghdad. A shootout left 11 Iraqi civilians dead.

The former North Carolina senator says that as president, he would transfer most security missions currently performed by contractors back to military command.

Edwards' speech also takes a swipe at chief Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has refused to make a pledges to end all military operations in Iraq, citing the need to stay on offense against terrorism.

Edwards says if you're not ending combat operations, you're not ending the war. He says he wants to end all combat missions in Iraq
and have a full exit of troops within 10 months, except those needed to protect diplomatic efforts.