Bush’s Private Armies Will Carry On After We Leave …
Posted by nytexan on July 4, 2007
New U.S. data show how heavily the Bush administration has relied on corporations to carry out the occupation of the war-torn nation.
By T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer July 4, 2007
The number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, newly released figures show, raising fresh questions about the privatization of the war effort and the government’s capacity to carry out military and rebuilding campaigns.
More than 180,000 civilians — including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis — are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Including the recent troop buildup, 160,000 soldiers and a few thousand civilian government employees are stationed in Iraq.
The total number of private contractors, far higher than previously reported, shows how heavily the Bush administration has relied on corporations to carry out the occupation of Iraq — a mission criticized as being undermanned.
“These numbers are big,” said Peter Singer, a Brookings Institution scholar who has written on military contracting. “They illustrate better than anything that we went in without enough troops. This is not the coalition of the willing. It’s the coalition of the billing.”
The numbers include at least 21,000 Americans, 43,000 foreign contractors and about 118,000 Iraqis — all employed in Iraq by U.S. tax dollars, according to the most recent government data.
The array of private workers promises to be a factor in debates on a range of policy issues, including the privatization of military jobs and the number of Iraqi refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S.
But there are also signs that even those mounting numbers may not capture the full picture. Private security contractors, who are hired to protect government officials and buildings, were not fully counted in the survey, according to industry and government officials.
Continuing uncertainty over the numbers of armed contractors drew special criticism from military experts.
Again, I emphasize, Bush’s private armies will carry on this terrible war, at inflated cost in dollars and lives, long after he leaves office in disgrace. You know in advance that Bush will be well compensated for his roll in securing OIL contracts for his buddies. Unless of course our Congress does it’s job and takes immediate steps to untie the noose we have put around the world’s throat. What a July 4th gift it would be to recover the US Constitution from the trash bin!