by David Phinney
Saturday August 24th 2019



Hidden Casualties: Contractor Sacrifices Climb in Iraq

by David Phinney

May 19, 2007 — Civilian contractor casualties and injuries in Iraq continue to climb: Contractor deaths during the first three months of 2007 — 146 — were higher than any other quarter since the war began, The New York Times reports. American military deaths during the same period — 244.

The Total Toll: At least 917 dead and more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job since the war in Iraq began, while American military casualties have reached almost 3,400 dead.

SIGIR reported pretty much the same thing at the beginning of the month: 916 death claims
Truck drivers and translators make up the biggest share of the fallen, but recent death tolls include others “who make up what amounts to a private army…. The new contractor statistics suggest that for every four American soldiers or marines who die in Iraq, a contractor is killed.”

The Surge: With the U.S. military being more aggressive in its attempts to quell insurgents, contractors have become bigger targets because they are the more vulnerable, one observer suggests to New York Times reporters John M. Broder and James Risen.

“The insurgents are going after the softest targets, and the contractors are softer targets than the military,” said Lawrence J. Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense for manpower during the Reagan administration. “The U.S. is being more aggressive over there, and these contractor deaths go right along with it.”

Truthout reposts The New York Times story for non-profit use and public service.
Contractors Make Up 20 Percent of Iraq Casualties March 29, 2007
Contractor Deaths Raise Casualty Count February 23, 2007
Contractor Deaths in Iraq Nearing 800 January 29, 2007
Iraq Wounded Fight for Insurance Coverage July 11, 2006
Civilian Footprint December 21, 2006
More than 500 Contractor Deaths in Iraq? November 2, 2005
Associated Press on 2/24/07: The AP finds Americans are keenly aware of how many U.S. forces have lost their lives in Iraq, but they “woefully underestimate the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed.”

Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.


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