Thursday, September 20

343,100 to 351,000 Reasons to End the War

Beyond the troops that are in Iraq, there are tons of contractors and they are not all "security" mercenaries like Blackwater, DynCorp and so on.

The Gazette reports that:
180,000 (the CS Monitor estimated it at 182,000) = Number of people working in Iraq under U.S. contracts
169,000 = U.S. troops in Iraq, according to the Pentagon
163,100 = U.S. troops in Iraq, according to the U.S. Central Command

In 2006, the Washington Post reported that there were 100,000 government contractors there. With the additional 80,000, this is 18 times the number of US contractors that were there during the first Gulf War.

The Christian Science Monitor estimates tha 20,000 to 30,000 are mercenaries. DynCorp International has about 1,500 employees in Iraq, including about 700 helping train the police force. Blackwater USA has more than 1,000 10 1,500 employees in the country, most of them providing private security. Kellogg, Brown and Root, one of the largest contractors in Iraq, said it does not delineate its workforce by country but that it has more than 50,000 employees and subcontractors working in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. MPRI, a unit of L-3 Communications, has about 500 employees working on 12 contracts, including providing mentors to the Iraqi Defense Ministry for strategic planning, budgeting and establishing its public affairs office. Titan, another L-3 division, has 6,500 linguists in the country.

Unfortunately, without the military leaving Iraq, it is likely that these other workers are not either. As the CS Monitor story said, "Nobody is going to be able to throw the contractors out of there," says David Isenberg of the British-American Security Information Council. "They're the American Express card of the American military. The military doesn't leave home without them, because it can't.""

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