Congress Details Massive Use of Private Contractors in Iraq

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Michael Bowman
Voice of America
August 18, 2008

A new report says the United States has spent about $100 billion on private contractors to support operations in Iraq since the 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.

At the height of last year’s military surge in Iraq, the United States had roughly 168,000 troops deployed in the country. But America’s armed forces have been outnumbered by what some see as a private army funded by the federal government: contractors that provide a wide array of services, from security operations to rebuilding projects to logistical support.

Peter Orszag heads the Congressional Budget Office, which issued a report on the costs of private contractors in Iraq.

“The federal government has awarded $85 billion in contracts for work in [the] Iraq theater through 2007. If you included this year, the total would exceed $100 billion: roughly one of every $5 for the cost of the war in Iraq,” he said.

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