The U.S. government is preparing to hike the number of private mercenary forces in Iraq, as part of the expanding war in that country and neighboring Syria, an anonymous senior U.S. official told Reuters.
There are currently at least 1,800 private contractors in Iraq, and the official said it is not immediately clear how many additional mercenaries will be sent, according to Reuters.
Nonetheless, journalists Warren Strobel and Phil Stewart note, the plan to boost numbers “underscores Obama’s growing commitment in Iraq. When U.S. troops and diplomats venture into war zones, contractors tend to follow, doing jobs once handled by the military itself.”
The mercenary forces will add to the approximately 1,750 U.S. troops currently in Iraq, a number that is slated to climb past 3,000 after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered more deployments last week.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT