There is no business like war business

hessian.jpg To have half of your army be contractors, I don’t know that there’s a precedent for that…. Maybe the precedent was the British and the Hessians in the American Revolution. Maybe that’s the last time and needless to say, they lost. But I’m thinking that there’s no democratic control and there’s no intention to have democratic control here. – Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH

There are 160,000 troops stationed in Iraq.

There are 200,000 contractors serving various military functions there.

Some of these contractors perform mundane tasks such as meal preparation and laundry. Halliburton’s infamous “commercials” showcased their involvement in these service tasks.

But many – perhaps too many at this point – are involved in dangerous activities such as ferrying vehicles through insurgent controlled territories. And others, such as the notorious Blackwater and the (evidently) incompetent USIS, have access to high powered weaponry – which they have (allegedly) sold on the black market or used for target practice on Iraqi civilians.

And how are these contractors controlled?

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