Private military contractors are earning billions of dollars in Iraq -- much of it from U.S. taxpayers.Where does he think the money for all those public military contractors, like the US Army and USMC, comes from? Glenda the Good Witch?
[I]ndustry experts estimate Iraq's security business costs tens of billions of dollars.No kidding. Did you think they were doing this for free? Out of the kindness of their hearts, maybe? See, it costs money to have guys with guns riding around in trucks guarding convoys out in indian country. It costs money whether those guys have patches that say "US Army" or "Blackwater, Inc." There are only two reasons to use the latter: A) There are not enough of the former on hand to do the job, or B) The latter can do it cheaper.
Now, personally, if I have a fixed amount of troops to use, and a fixed amount of dollars to spend, I'm going to use the military to do the things only the military can do: doing armed sweeps of terrorist-infested hamlets, dropping JDAMS on Al-Zarqawi, that sort of thing. For purely reactive, clearly defensive chores such as escorting convoys or guarding non-military facilities, I'll put contracts up for bid.
Nobody calls a Wells Fargo guard in Detroit a mercenary, do they?