The Marketplace Reader

$100 billion to Iraq War contractors

Melissa Kaplan Aug 12, 2008

The New York Times reports total spending on contractors since the war began could reach $100 billion this year. A congressional report due out today says $1 out of every $5 spent on the Iraq war is going to a private military contractor. The Pentagon has been using companies like Blackwater and Kellogg, Brown and Root since the beginning of the war in 2003. They provide bodyguards, drivers, construction workers, and cooks.

Here’s a quick rundown from The New York Times:

The budget office’s report found that from 2003 to 2007, the government awarded contracts in Iraq worth about $85 billion, and that the administration was now awarding contracts at a rate of $15 billion to $20 billion a year. At that pace, contracting costs will surge past the $100 billion mark before the end of the year. Through 2007, spending on outside contractors accounted for 20 percent of the total costs of the war, the budget office found, according to the people with knowledge of the report.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.