AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

Blackwater, Part 2: How Did This Happen?

Since its inception the United States Military forces have historically used civilian personnel to perform some support functions. While some of these personnel have been trained and equipped to defend themselves at need, the use of civilian contractors to provide combat personnel outside the control of the military and/or government is a very recent development.

As recently as last month there were as many civilian support personnel in Iraq as there were military personnel – approximately 190,000 of each for a 1 to 1 ratio. This also occurred during the Balkan missions but not on such a large scale.

During the Korean War there was 1 civilian per every 2.5 military to provide support. During the Vietnam conflict the ratio was 1 civilian per every 5 military.

Record number of US contractors in Iraq

Up until the latest Iraq war these civilians provided support services and, except for a few that were hired to guard other civilians, were not expected to face combat situations on a regular basis and even the guards would not be expected to face the types of attacks that have been seen in Iraq.

Because of the limited number of ground combat forces available in the U.S. military the government could not afford to assign military personnel to perform protective functions for all of the non military functions taking place in Iraq, whether by government agencies or private companies that were hired to assist in the rebuilding efforts. This is where Blackwater and other private protective services companies became so involved.

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September 8, 2008 8:30 pm Posted by | National Security | , , , | 8 Comments