Nearly 800 private military contractors have been killed in Iraq since the campaign began, and nearly 8,000 more have been injured:
Statistics kept by the Labor Department indicate fatalities among civilian contractors working for American firms escalated rapidly late last year, with at least 301 dying in Iraq in 2006 — including 124 in the final three months.
U.S. military deaths totaled 818 during the year, the Defense Department has reported.
Despite the danger, job seekers continue to flood contractors’ offices with résumés.
Some 165,000 prospective employees contacted Houston-based Halliburton Co.’s KBR last year about job opportunities in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, company officials said. KBR now has half a million résumés on file.
And the recent troop “surge” announced by President Bush has prompted KBR to increase its hiring, company Chief Executive Officer Bill Utt said Friday.
I think most Americans would be shocked at how many private contractors are operating in Iraq, many of them in the employ of the US military. The DoD says that the number is around 100,000, but given the nature of the business (and the nature of the DoD), I suspect that the number is actually much higher.