Iraq Security Costs Soar
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2007 1:22 PM CDT
An Iraqi contractor works on removing concrete blocks as U.S. soldiers stand by in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 5, 2007. Concrete walls are used for security barriers. (AP Photo/Ali al-Khazali)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US Military has paid $548M to two British firms over the past three years to protect engineers working on projects in Iraq—nearly doubling its original budget, according to the Washington Post. A swelling insurgency and shortage of troops are driving up the cost of private security for the largely civilian workforce in the war-torn country.   

"To pay a man or a woman to come over here, put the vest on every day and escort military and civilians around the theater, knowing that people want to blow them up and kill them, you gotta pay to get that level of dedication," said a senior finance officer for the Corps of Engineers in Iraq.