Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The second biggest foreign force in Iraq is not the British Army, it is the unregulated and unaccountable army of private security contractors.
There are three British private security guards to every British soldier in Iraq, the charity War on Want said yesterday. At least 181 private military and security companies are operating in the country, employing almost 21,000 British private security guards, nearly half of the total number - an estimated 48,000.

...Critics say the main problem is that they are unaccountable. Non-Iraqi employees of private security companies in Iraq were protected from prosecution under Order 17 of the Coalition Provisional Authority, issued shortly before it handed over power in 2004.
In Britain alone, providing private security for the Iraq and Afhgan occupations is a $2 billion a year industry. That's more than the Iraqi Ministry of Defense's entire procurement budget.

One of the biggest growth areas is in the contracting of private interrogators for the U.S. military. The major supplier of contracted interrogators is a company owned by Lockheed - who last year became a major contributor to John McCain for the first time ever. Coincidence?

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