JEREMY SCAHILL: …Right now there are 250 thousand contractors fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's about 50 percent of the total US fighting force. Which is very similar to what it was under Bush. In Iraq, President Obama has 130 thousand contractors. And we just saw a 23 percent increase in the number of armed contractors in Iraq. In Afghanistan there's been a 29 percent increase in armed contractors. So the radical privatization of war continues unabated under Barack Obama…The rest of the transcript (and a video of the program segment) is at the link. A video version is here.
BILL MOYERS: You know, you talk about military contractors. Do you think the American people have any idea how their tax dollars are being used in Afghanistan?
JEREMY SCAHILL:Absolutely no idea whatsoever. We've spent 190 million dollars. Excuse me, $190 billion on the war in Afghanistan. And some estimates say that, within a few short years, it could it could end up at a half a trillion dollars. The fact is that I think most Americans are not aware that their dollars being spent in Afghanistan are, in fact, going to for-profit corporations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These are companies that are simultaneously working for profit and for the U.S. government. That is the intricate linking of corporate profits to an escalation of war that President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address. We live in amidst the most radical privatization agenda in the history of our country…
07 June 2009
The privatization of war
From the transcript of Bill Moyer's interview with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill: