By Gerry Schumacher, Steve Gansen
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Additional info for A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq
I’ve tried to convey their reality as objectively as possible. Perhaps we can all benefit from an open-eyed assessment, discard our preconceived notions, and take a fresh look at these civilians willingly engaged in a truly bloody business. S. government experiences battlefield deficiencies, it proposes institutional, organizational, and training changes that take years to implement. S. public seems to want quicker, easier solutions than the military can deliver. The political pressure to keep wars short is intense, and capitalist business practices tend to emphasize efficiency—in other words, quick and easy solutions.
For instance, the contracting agency involved in planning and executing Croatia’s successful campaign against the Serbs in the 1990s publicly denies any direct combat involvement to this day. Their explanation—training assistance—is hard to refute without any evidence. But the fact that some of these training exercises with Croatian forces turned into hostile encounters with the enemy hardly seems coincidental. Construction and infrastructure contractors are the most diverse and come from every conceivable trade, skill, profession, avocation, and career.
S. government. If those critics were to ride shotgun in a KBR truck from Kuwait to Mosul for just one day, they might change their minds. Iraq is a scary place, and it tests one’s values and deeply held convictions. When faced with the reality of what’s going on, money alone is meager compensation. People who go there for the money often return home within a week after arrival. That’s their prerogative. If it weren’t for strict military discipline, many soldiers would be headed home right there with them, patriotism or sense of duty be damned.