Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Wash Post': U.S. Secretly Funds Private Security 'Army' in Iraq

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Wash Post': U.S. Secretly Funds Private Security 'Army' in Iraq

Article excerpt

In a front-page in today's Washington Post, Steve Fainaru reveals, "Private security companies, funded by billions of dollars in U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives."

The report by the veteran Iraq reporter continues, "While the military has built up troops in an ongoing campaign to secure Baghdad, the security companies, out of public view, have been engaged in a parallel surge, boosting manpower, adding expensive armor and stepping up evasive action as attacks increase, the officials and company representatives said. One in seven supply convoys protected by private forces has come under attack this year, according to previously unreleased statistics; one security company reported nearly 300 'hostile actions' in the first four months.

"The majority of the more than 100 security companies operate outside of Iraqi law, in part because of bureaucratic delays and corruption in the Iraqi government licensing process, according to U. …

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