America

More Contractors Dying In Iraq And Afghanistan Than Soldiers

Pro-Publica did a fascinating analysis of government data that found:

More private contractors than soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, the first time in history that corporate casualties have outweighed military losses on America’s battlefields.

More than 250 civilians working under U.S. contracts died in the war zones between January and June 2010, according to a ProPublica analysis of the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Labor, which tracks contractor deaths. In the same period, 235 soldiers died, according to Pentagon figures.

US security contractor in Afgahnistan

hide captionIn this July 19, 2010 file photo, A U.S. contractor looks away from a dust cloud whipped up by a helicopter  in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press

Now one thing you should realize is that contractors are everywhere in modern day American war zones. And far outnumbering the armed groups that get the headlines are the cooks, the launderers, the cleaners, the ones who do all the scut work. Most of them are third world nationals that often live in pretty terrible conditions. And Pro-Public points out:

Previous ProPublica stories have noted that companies employing such workers often fail to report their deaths and injuries to the Labor Department, as required by law. Government figures likely understate the total number civilian contractor deaths.

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