Private Contractors and the Reconstruction of Iraq



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Private Contractors and the Reconstruction of Iraq examines the controversial role of military contractors in the reconstruction of Iraq. When ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ was launched in March 2003, few, if any, of the Coalition’s political leaders could have envisaged that within a few months the number of private contractors engaged to keep the troops supplied would exceed their actual combat strength. This alternative ‘army’ was not only to become the largest assemblage of contractors in living memory to accompany a military force into a war zone, but was also responsible for a fundamental transformation of how military logistics were delivered. This book explains how and why the US and UK governments became so dependent upon military contractors during the war in Iraq. It also examines the ramifications this new dependency will have on future military operations, as the conflict in Iraq has shown that private contractors are now indispensable to the attainment of both the military and political objectives of war. Finally, the book discusses what advantages and disadvantages these companies have brought to the reconstruction of Iraq, and what lessons need to be learned from this experience. This book will be of great interest to students of military and strategic studies, Middle Eastern politics and international security, and as well as policymakers and military professionals. Christopher Kinsey is a lecturer in international security at King’s College London, Defence Studies Department, at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham. His previous publications include Corporate Soldiers and International Security: The Rise of Private Military Companies (Routledge: 2006)


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