Left behind in Iraq: thousands of contractors (CNN)
Friday October 21st, 2011
With the removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year looking more likely, absent an agreement to extend legal immunity, a large contingent of U.S. contractors will still remain facing their own legal and logistical ambiguities and challenges.
The complexity of the situation is not lost on top officials at the State Department who are busy preparing to assume control of every U.S. responsibility in Iraq – including contracting operations.
Once the U.S. military presence in Iraq is gone, the embassy in Baghdad, the largest U.S. embassy in the world, will be staffed by approximately 1,700 diplomats and representatives of various cabinet agencies. They will be supported by approximately 5,000 security contractors. There will also be up to 4,000 contractors supporting every service for U.S. personnel in Iraq from food to sanitation and anything else necessary for diplomats to carry out their jobs.