A leading congressional opponent of the Iraq war welcomed the formal end of US combat operations on Tuesday but warned of the increased reliance on private mercenaries.
“The President is rightly celebrating that less American troops are in harm’s way,” Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said Tuesday night. “I join the President in that celebration.”
“We need to dispense with the fiction, though, that this announcement in any way diminishes our financial or resource commitment to Iraq,” he continued.
“Fifty thousand ‘non-combat’ troops will remain, and that number does not include the State Department’s plan to double the amount of mercenaries through next year–whose only loyalty is to the highest bidder–and fortify numerous ‘enduring presence posts’ throughout the country. This fortification will include the recent State Department request for Black Hawk helicopters, mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, and advanced surveillance systems.
Such a substantial reliance on mercenaries amounts to a privatization of war.”