Monday, April 19, 2004

Know About the 'Mercenaries'? 

Dawkins writes:

Really good overview article about the private army firms working in Iraq. Reassuring to know that they're doing a great job over there!
Outsourcing the war
With more private contractors dying and disappearing in Iraq, some begin to question the rules of engagement.

By P.W. Singer

April 16, 2004 | WASHINGTON -- The killing of four American military contractors in Fallujah last week not only touched off a growing wave of violence but also raised concern about just how much of the mission has been outsourced to private firms. Private military contractors in Iraq are present in unprecedented numbers, more than 15,000, and they engage in a range of mission-critical activities -- often armed combat -- contrary to the U.S. military's own doctrine of how civilians should be employed in the field. Everything from handling military logistics and training the local army, to protecting key installations and escorting convoys has been turned over to a literal small army's worth of private troops.
Note: as with all Salon "premium" material, you can read it for free if you simply select the "Free Day Pass."


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