The California-based Steele Foundation was founded in 1989 and has offices on five continents. On its website, it describes postwar Iraq as a 'vibrant marketplace' for firms 'combating the security threats'.  The firm also provided security detail for former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It was briefly embroiled in controversy when Aristide accused the firm of withdrawing its agents under U.S. government orders during his overthrow. 
The firm hires from the ranks of former Special Forces, who can expect to receive between $10,000 and $20,000 a month. The firm employs around 500 agents in Iraq, about one-third Westerners and the rest Iraqis.