A private army of occupation in Iraq—mechanics, construction workers, translators, bodyguards, and other civilian contractors—is increasing in numbers keeping pace with the troop surge, the Christian Science Monitor reports. As many as 180,000 private contractors in Iraq, most of them not US nationals, currently work in legal limbo, with little oversight or support.
"This is a very murky legal space and we haven't dealt with the fundamental issues," saysd a foreign policy specialist. Most private contractors hail from countries as varied as Scotland, Brazil, Hungary, Pakistan and Australia. The military acknowledges their usefulness, but some officials fear the use of private contractors has gone too far.