The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce that has 19% more contractor personnel (207,600) than uniformed personnel (175,000). Contractors make up 54% of DOD’s workforce in Iraq and Afghanistan.
— Department of Defense report. July 2, 2010
With the latest Wikileaks release highlighting the magnitude of contractor deficiencies, the NYT offered up this rooftop scene from 2004. The symbolism of these two beefy Blackwater mercenaries advancing on a building in Najaf is telling. While American and Spanish soldiers sit back, the private label boys offer up a whole other level of offense and aggressiveness. Go get ’em!
(caption: On April 4, 2004, private contractors working for the Blackwater security company took part in a firefight in Najaf as Iraqi demonstrators loyal to the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr tried to advance on a buidling being defended by American and Spanish soldiers.)