Attrition: Contractor Casualties in Iraq


August 11, 2006: Contractor casualties in Iraq have, so far, been about 6,700. That's about one third as many casualties as U.S. troops. The contractor forces includes both Iraqi and foreign civilians working for the American armed forces. There have been about one civilian contractor for every two American troops in Iraq. The contractors perform a lot of the support functions that, in previous wars, would have been carried out by U.S. troops. Overall, the contractors are cheaper that using American troops, although some of the contractors make a lot more money. Many truck drivers and security personnel are contractors, which is where most contractor casualties occur, while moving supplies through dangerous neighborhoods. Even so, the contractor casualty rate is lower than that for American troops.


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