The Iraqi insurgency realizes that without security there will be no reconstruction, no political reform, and no peace. So they are hitting the hired guns, hard.
These contractors and officials point to the surprising level of planning and brutality involved in a May 8 attack on the British security company Hart Security Ltd., which provides protection to convoys, homes and individuals in Iraq.
Twelve out of 18 Iraqi and international guards were killed in the attack, in which insurgents ambushed a convoy escorting cargo for the U.S. forces from Baghdad to a base in al-Asat, about 90 miles west of the city.
Once resistance from the security team ended, the attackers moved in to finish off the wounded, then piled several of the bodies on top of a bomb so they could not be removed without setting off an explosion, sources said.
Security specialists said the terrorists appeared to have calibrated mortars in advance of the attack, permitting direct hits on the five-vehicle convoy just as it hit a series of hidden bombs laid out in a “daisy chain” along the road.
The militants then managed to split up the convoy and systematically wipe out members of each smaller component.
At least 93 security operators have been killed in Iraq since April 2003, icasualties.org reported. The Web site showed the number of contractor deaths spiking in April with 20 killed, the most since 31 contractors died in August 2004. So far, seven have been killed this month.
Security operators think the numbers are higher.
With the intensity and sophistication of terrorist attacks increasing, and with the constant fear of kidnapping, the cost of security has mushroomed to account for 16 percent of the total reconstruction budget.
But the bottom line is that without private security companies, “reconstruction would not be done” in Iraq, said Lawrence Peter, director of a group representing private security companies in Iraq.
“Private security companies are responsible for the security of the entire reconstruction effort,” Mr. Peter said. “If we didn’t have them here, we would need another division of troops.
More news of our fabulous “progress” in Iraq.
An insurgent squad shot dead the commander of Iraq’s new counter-insurgency headquarters as he drove to work Monday in Baghdad, as US and Iraqi troops conducted a massive sweep for insurgents.