Tuesday, December 05, 2006
100,000 mercenaries in Iraq. posted by Richard SeymourA recent documentary called Shadow Company estimated that up to 70,000 mercenaries were operating in Iraq. Turns out they underestimated by at least 30,000. Here's the Washington Post fingering its lip and looking doe-eyed:
There are about 100,000 government contractors operating in Iraq, not counting subcontractors, a total that is approaching the size of the U.S. military force there, according to the military's first census of the growing population of civilians operating in the battlefield.
The survey finding, which includes Americans, Iraqis and third-party nationals hired by companies operating under U.S. government contracts, is significantly higher and wider in scope than the Pentagon's only previous estimate, which said there were 25,000 security contractors in the country.
It is also 10 times the estimated number of contractors that deployed during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, reflecting the Pentagon's growing post-Cold War reliance on contractors for such jobs as providing security, interrogating prisoners, cooking meals, fixing equipment and constructing bases that were once reserved for soldiers.
"Contractors", right. And the Luftwaffe were an altitude maintenance corps. One of the great, ahem, virtues of these outfits is that they allow a great deal of room for plausible deniability: "Oh them? They were just contractors. So they shot up a bunch of Iraqis in their cars, huh? We'll get someone else in to do the job".