The number of private contractors working for the U.S. Defense Department in Iraq grew eight-fold over the past year, a rate that far outpaces the growing number of American troops training and advising Iraqi soldiers battling Islamic State militants. ...
As of January, 2,028 contractors were in Iraq, up from just 250 one year earlier, according to the Pentagon’s data. There are roughly 3,700 American troops there now, compared to 2,300 in January 2015.
That number of military contractors represents just a fraction of the contractors employed by the U.S. in Iraq. In addition to the 2,028 Pentagon contractors, another 5,800 are employed by other agencies, including the State Department.
On the latter category, you may recall that the State Department was supposed to pick up the slack in Iraq from the US military when the administration pulled out our troops at the end of 2011.
That didn't work out, obviously.
So we've hired mercenaries before (and it predated Bush 43) because it made financial sense as the military cut logistics "tail" during reductions in manpower end strength in order to maintain combat unit "teeth." But the need for that tail on deployment of the teeth remained. So we brought in contractors to do the jobs and canceled the contracts when we no longer needed the job done.
We're still doing it because it makes sense. It's a modern trend, even [shameless plug alert].
But, you know, now they are deployed with Hope and Change in their contracts. That's a huge difference.
So they aren't mercenaries in this new age. They're hopenaries.
[I know this is an old story, but a flood of news is running into my effort to keep my blogging obsession down to about a hundred posts per month. March 2014 when Russia's invasion of Ukraine hit stride was really my "worst" month! So this was scheduled way in advance.]