[Marxism] Shadow Soldiers in Iraq

Johannes Schneider johannes.schneider at gmx.net
Mon Apr 19 01:07:55 MDT 2004

New York Times, April 19, 2004
Security Companies: Shadow Soldiers in Iraq
Far more than in any other conflict in United States history, the Pentagon 
is relying on private security companies to perform crucial jobs once 
entrusted to the military. In addition to guarding innumerable 
reconstruction projects, private companies are being asked to provide 
security for the chief of the Coalition Provisional Authority, L. Paul 
Bremer III, and other senior officials; to escort supply convoys through 
hostile territory; and to defend key locations, including 15 regional 
authority headquarters and even the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad, the 
center of American power in Iraq. With every week of insurgency in a war 
zone with no front, these companies are becoming more deeply enmeshed in 
combat, in some cases all but obliterating distinctions between 
professional troops and private commandos. Company executives see a clear 
boundary between their defensive roles as protectors and the offensive 
operations of the military. But more and more, they give the appearance of 
private, for-profit militias — by several estimates, a force of roughly 
20,000 on top of an American military presence of 130,000. [...]
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