Jeff Severns Guntzel, Electronic Iraq, Jul 10, 2007
USA Today is reporting that attacks on convoys protected by private security contractors in Iraq are on the rise.
There were 869 such attacks from the beginning of June 2006 to the end of May this year. For the preceding 12 months, there were 281 attacks.
Guarding convoys is one part of the work in Iraq done by private companies, jobs that were once done by the military. Private firms also protect diplomats and staff checkpoints at U.S. military facilities.
The Private Security Company Association of Iraq, a trade group, estimates there are about 30,000 security company employees, of which 3,000 to 5,000 are Westerners. About 15,000 are Iraqis, and the rest are other foreigners.We've been hearing about convoy attacks for years.
Rarely discussed and never quantified is the effect these massive armored convoys and the attacks directed at them on street life in Iraq. Below is a video of a convoy attack filmed from inside one of the convoy's armored vehicles. Watch the people on the sidewalks scatter and the drivers in the road panic. The return fire can be heard but not seen.