NPR had an interesting report on the “shadow army” of private contractors in Iraq. They point out that privately contracted truck drivers drive the most dangerous roads in the country and do so without adequate armour and unarmed. The company that hires them, KBR, is a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR has 700 trucks on the road in Iraq on any given day. According to one driver, who quit and has no plans to return to Iraq:
“Every convoy we’d pull out on would get rocked or shot at or something. There was always some kind of conflict going on on every convoy,” Garsee says. “The good Lord saw fit to bring me home alive the first time. I’m not gonna contest him a second time.”
I was especially interested in the report, because one driver interviewed was from Idaho.
“The armor in the KBR trucks was not adequate to protect us at all,” says Terry Steward, of Weiser, Idaho. He almost died from gunshot wounds last year when his convoy drove into an ambush. Three drivers were killed. Steward believes most of the bloodshed could have been avoided that day if the trucks had been bulletproofed.”The issue of inadequate armor had been brought up by me and other people to KBR,” Steward says. “We needed something done.”
If his story has been reported in the local media, I haven’t seen it.