There are roughly 130,000 contractors in Iraq, said [Barry} McCaffrey; about 4,000 of them have been wounded and 600 have been killed, he said.
It’s unclear whether McCaffrey was talking specifically about American deaths or contractor deaths overall, but the comment highlights an oft-overlooked aspect of the chaos in Iraq. While most have focused on American military losses, civilian contractors (including both private security personnel and engineers, etc.) are also taking it on the chin. This has predictably awful consequences, as contractors have the expertise necessary to reconstruction, and a high death rate scares away most and makes the rest far, far more expensive.
Just another facet of the disaster, really.