Not So Great Britain

More contractors than troops in Iraq

July 6, 2007
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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 surge, 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 private corporations to carry out the occupation of Iraq — a mission criticized as being undermanned.

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