One of Missouri’s Senators has had some personal experience with Blackwater USA, the American Security contractor that’s in hot water in Iraq.
Senator Claire McCaskill says Blackwater agents provided "aggressive" security when she was in Iraq earlier this year. The detail was made up of former United States military personnel. She admits she felt "comforted" in their company. But she can see that Blackwater’s actions could be seen as "unseemly" if the agents were not accountable to anybody. She says it’s now apparent they should have been accountable to somebody and the country will be dealing with the fallout from that failure for some time.
McCaskill says she would have felt equally safe if she’d been surrounded by regular military personnel, but that’s not possible because of a shortage of military personnel. She says nobody wanted a draft before starting the war and she does not favor re-instituting it. But she says the military was sent into a war without enough soldiers to do everything the military should do. Because of that, she says, the military decided to have private contractors do everything but the mission itself. She says much of the cost of the war is the result of the country paying private companies to do things the military traditionally has done.