Contractors a Huge Crutch in Iraq

 

By Walter Pincus

Monday, August 20, 2007; Page A13

When years from now historians and government officials reexamine precedents set by the U.S. experience in Iraq, there are many “firsts” likely to pop up.

One still playing out is the extraordinarily wide use of private contractors. A Congressional Research Service report published last month titled “Private Security Contractors in Iraq: Background, Legal Status, and Other Issues,” puts it this way: “Iraq appears to be the first case where the U.S. government has used private contractors extensively for protecting persons and property in potentially hostile or hostile situations where host country security forces are absent or deficient.”

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