Private Warriors

Frontline has a documentary, “Private Warriors,” airing tonight on the work being done by miltary contractors, such as Haliburton, in Iraq (times may vary, but it’s on at 10 PM on both of Atlanta’s PBS stations).

Based on the website overview, it appears that the documentary will cast a fairly critical eye towards the practice, specifically in terms of the place of contractors in the chain of command. Could be an interesting show. I was generally impressed, with some reservations, by their documentary, “A Company of Soldiers,” in which a pair of embedded reporters followed the soldiers of Dog Company during November 2004.

Because the Bushies have decided to target PBS for major budget cuts against the will of a vast majority of the American public, it’s worth emphasizing the valuable service public media can provide. Media Matters has the full scoop.


  1. cbd Said,

    June 22, 2005 @ 9:25 pm

    I watched quite a bit of this last night, but dozed off after a while (I’m fighting off a cold). As you write, the documentary is critical of command issues, pointing out several times that workers the armed forces outsources can simply walk away from the job if they don’t like it.

    Also interesting: US Army Corps of Engineers are protected by private guards. But some of the convoys of the private security companies are escorted by US soldiers.

    All paid for by you and me…

  2. Chuck Said,

    June 23, 2005 @ 5:34 pm

    Also troubling: these private contractors are paid a hell of a lot more than regular soldiers, which as the documentary noted is (with good reason) causing some resentment among the troops.

    In addition, several hundred contractors have died in Iraq, a number that isn’t included in the total number of US dead by most counts (a number that still pales in comparison to the number of Iraqis killed during the war).

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