RealNews

Private commandos shoot back on the Iraq firing line

Ex-military commandos armed with M4 rifles are fighting insurgents in Iraq as part of a private contracting force, many of them hired by the US-led coalition, raising some deep concerns. About 15,000 personnel from private military firms (PMFs) were operating in Iraq, making them more numerous that even the biggest US ally, Britain, estimated Peter Singer, author of “Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry.” At least 30 to 50 had been killed in action, he wrote in a report for the Internet news magazine Salon.com. Among the companies, Singer said, Erinys was charged with guarding Iraqi oil fields, while Northrop Grumman subsidiary Vinnell, MPRI and Nour USA had been training and equipping the new Iraq army. “It is more a coalition of the billing than of the willing,” Singer said. Since the personnel were not army, lawmakers and the American people were largely unaware of the scale of the private companies’ role, he said. Full Story

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