Contact l Sitemap

home industries issues reasearch weblog press

Home  » Industries » War & Disaster Profiteering

IRAQ: Contractor Deaths Grow in Iraq

Total death insurance claims by contractors in Iraq have risen more than sixfold from 2003, U.S. government figures show, as nearly as many civilians are working overseas as soldiers.

by Tony CapaccioBloomberg News
November 21st, 2004

Total death insurance claims by contractors in Iraq have risen more than sixfold from 2003, U.S. government figures show, as nearly as many civilians are working overseas as soldiers.

Companies so far this year have filed claims for 157 deaths and 516 serious injuries, based on U.S. Labor Department figures given to Bloomberg News. Almost 60 percent of those civilians who died worked for Halliburton Co. and Titan Corp. In 2003, contractors claimed 23 deaths and 132 serious injuries.

"The figures illustrate a historic degree of reliance by the U.S. military on private contractors in Iraq, as well as the significant dangers these civilians bear in a combat zone," said Peter Singer, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

It was a "huge story when we unfortunately crossed the 1,000 killed mark, but in reality it focused on an artificial figure -- including private deaths, we were over that number already," Singer said.

Halliburton, the biggest U.S. contractor in Iraq, and Titan, the top provider of Army translators, have filed the most claims for employees killed or wounded in Iraq. Halliburton units through Wednesday have filed 747 of 1,346 Iraqi-related claims, including 16 deaths, while Titan has filed 192 claims, including 77 deaths. A total of 78 companies filed insurance claims.

The 1941 Defense Base Act requires insurance coverage for workers in combat zones hired under U.S. contracts. Every U.S. company bidding on government work overseas in places such as Iraq, Kuwait, or Bosnia and   Herzegovina must buy insurance for its U.S. and foreign workers, including Iraqi personnel, from private U.S. carriers.

About 60,000 U.S. civilians are working in Iraq alongside 138,000 U.S. troops. Another 85,000 Iraqis employed on U.S. projects are also eligible for benefits under the Base Act.

"The DBA figures are important in that they provide the raw numbers policy-makers and analysts need in an   area of public policy that has a surprising lack of public information," Singer said.



This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.