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30,000 Mercenaries

The CBO report puts the first number I’ve seen on the number of “security contractors” in the Iraq theater: 30,000. That’s one mercenary for every six U.S. soldiers.

The cost rationale:

The costs of a private security contract are comparable
with those of a U.S. military unit performing similar
functions. During peacetime, however, the private
security contract would not have to be renewed,
whereas the military unit would remain in the force
structure.

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