Silent surge in contractor ‘armies’

A key support for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, civilians have little oversight and, back home, little help.

By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Page 1 of 4

(Photograph)There are two coalition armies in Iraq: the official one, which fights the war, and the private one, which supports it.

This latter group of civilians drives dangerous truck convoys, cooks soldiers’ meals, and guards facilities and important officials. They rival in size the US military force there, and thousands have become casualties of the conflict. If this experience is any indication, they may change the makeup of US military forces in future wars.

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