In a follow-up to yesterday’s story about the WikiLeaks document dump, the New York Times describes how the independent contractors hired to prop up the military effort actually fouled things up —
The archive, which describes many episodes never made public in such detail, shows the multitude of shortcomings with this new system: how a failure to coordinate among contractors, coalition forces and Iraqi troops, as well as a failure to enforce rules of engagement that bind the military, endangered civilians as well as the contractors themselves. The military was often outright hostile to contractors, for being amateurish, overpaid and, often, trigger-happy.
Contractors often shot with little discrimination â€” and few if any consequences â€” at unarmed Iraqi civilians, Iraqi security forces, American troops and even other contractors, stirring public outrage and undermining much of what the coalition forces were sent to accomplish.
Be sure to read the whole thing. One point the article does not make is that these “contractors” were paid a great deal more for doing things soldiers used to do, which is one reason the bleeping war cost so much.