US has spent billions on contractors in Iraq, report finds

The United States has paid $85 billion to contractors in the Iraq theater for work ranging from food service to guarding diplomats, according to a report released Tuesday. The report, prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, noted that spending for contractors accounts for about 20 percent of spending for operations in Iraq. The United States has relied more heavily on contractors in Iraq than in any other war. At least 190,000 contract employees are working in the Iraq theater, with the ratio at about one contractor for every US military member, according to the report. The report probably will give new fodder to critics who have accused contractors of overbilling and providing shoddy work.