T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles Times has discovered that the US uses more contractors than US soldiers in Iraq.
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.
What does this tell us? Even a force of 340,000 is not enough to put down the various insurgencies and fighting factions. Also, supposedly an Iraqi military force is fighting on the same side as the US and supposedly it provides some additional help (though we might just be training Iraqi soldiers to become better insurgents). One qualifier: Some of the contractors are doing reconstruction. So not all are in support of the military mission.
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 contractors probably do a lot of logistics work and maintenance so that a larger percentage of the American soldiers can put themselves in harm's way.
The US still uses more Americans than non-Americans.
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.
43,000 foreign contractors. They are cheaper than the 21,000 Americans. Outsourcing. Wonder where they are from.
Of course, if the Iraqis really cared about freedom of religion, speech, press, and so on they'd be out en masse hunting down tribal and religious militias. US troops wouldn't need to hunt down insurgents because the Iraqis would kill them all. We are trying to turn the Iraqis into something they aren't. They do not share our relative priorities on values and loyalties. They do not share our ways of looking at life. Their religion and culture are not compatible with our values and beliefs.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 July 07 09:09 PM MidEast Iraq Military Needs|