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4 Feb, 2010 07:26

“Use of mercenaries masks scope of US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq”

There has been a massive increase in the funding of US war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and private military contractors are flourishing in its wake, even though their reputations are at an all-time low.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky told RT that there are at least as many contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan as there are military.

“So when the President asks for a 30,000 troop increase in Afghanistan, we are talking about at least that number of contractors too, which makes the mission much bigger. We don’t even count them when they get killed,” she said.

Jan Schakowsky also added that private contractors in Iraq are getting away with murder.

“We have seen these private hired guns – mercenaries if you will – actually in situations that have jeopardized the mission of the US, have put her own troops at risk, have killed private civilians,” she said. “So far those cases have been dismissed. Fortunately, the Justice Department has decided to appeal the ruling and go forward, but they’re in a kind of grey legal limbo.”

Jan Schakowsky believes it is worrying that private firms like Blackwater have an even greater capability to wage wars than America itself.

“Blackwater use certain helicopters that, believe it or not, the US government doesn’t even have. These [private] companies have the capacity that the US government does not have. I think this is a very dangerous trend,” she concluded.