Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Drip feed on contractor death

The question in the supplementary notes on my last post - A sense of the senselessness - has been answered in part. I was curious about the fatalities on the private side of this strange semi-privatized war.

The Houston Chronicle reported recently that 95 KBR employees and subcontractors have died while working on US Government contracts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. According to Halliburton, 430 KBR staff have been injured.

Meanwhile information continues to drip out about this Baghdad atality:

A spokeswoman for KBR, formerly Kellogg Brown & Root, one of the biggest US contractors in Iraq, said in an email yesterday: "KBR regrets to confirm that a KBR employee … was fatally wounded at a control point manned by coalition forces in Baghdad, Iraq." The company refused to release the man's name or nationality, but he is known to have been an English speaker.

Another report says the KBR contractor was an American citizen of Hispanic birth, aged in his late 30s or early 40s, who spoke English. He had earlier cleared the first checkpoint into the area, where he is believed to have told troops that he had a task at the Australian embassy.

Parent company, Halliburton gets a direct mention of an Australian association in local media reports:

Firepower chief linked to Halliburton

The European head of a mysterious firm that has become one of Australia's largest sporting sponsors has previous links to Halliburton…


Praguetwin said...

I have a friend working for one of those security companies that operate in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll see what I can dig up. I could have sworn he was quoting numbers just the other day.

Cartledge said...

Thanks PT. The corporate side of this conflict doesn't seem to get much coverage.

Praguetwin said...

I still don't have numbers but a direct quote from my friend:

most of these companies are not publicly held, and don't report ANYTHING

So when and if I do get numbers out of him, they are estimates.

Just another way to hide the cost of the war (both in blood and treasure).

Praguetwin said...

So the guys at the security company figure at least 1200 to 1400. The boss said when he was there it was about 2 a day, but it is cyclic just like the soldier casualties.

The thing that kept coming up is that it is totally unknown, not reported anywhere. The security companies don't want to publish their losses because it reflects badly on them.

So it could be much more, but you can bet it is a minimum of 1200.

Cartledge said...

So this really is the hidden side of the conflict? Yesterday I came across a story about a new bill that brings "nearly 100,000 private security contractors who have until now operated with impunity in Iraq and Afghanistan." under US military law.
the 100,000 is just security not the whole bundle of contractors.
I'll keep digging. Thanks

Praguetwin said...

Here is the official list from IC. They are extra careful to note that this list is incomplete. My friend who works for a very small company said that one of the guys who used to work for him lost both his legs, and the other 3 in the car were killed. They are not on the list.

So yes, this is indeed the hidden side of the conflict.

Cartledge said...

PT, I can't pick up that link. :(