http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/washington/12contractors.html "Use of Iraq Contractors Costs Billions, Report Says By JAMES RISEN Published: August 11, 2008 WASHINGTON The United States this year will have spent $100 billion on contractors in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, a milestone that reflects the Bush administrations unprecedented level of dependence on private firms for help in the war, according to a government report to be released Tuesday. The report, by the Congressional Budget Office, according to people with knowledge of its contents, will say that one out of every five dollars spent on the war in Iraq has gone to contractors for the United States military and other government agencies, in a war zone where employees of private contractors now outnumber American troops. The Pentagons reliance on outside contractors in Iraq is proportionately far larger than in any previous conflict, and it has fueled charges that this outsourcing has led to overbilling, fraud and shoddy and unsafe work that has endangered and even killed American troops. The role of armed security contractors has also raised new legal and political questions about whether the United States has become too dependent on private armed forces on the 21st-century battlefield. ..... Dina L. Rasor, an author and independent expert on contracting fraud, said she believed that the $100 billion cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office might be low, since there were virtually no reliable audits of or controls on spending during the first years of the war. It is a shocking number, but I still dont think it is the full cost, Ms. Rasor said. I dont think there have been any credible cost numbers for the Iraq war. There was so much money spent at the beginning of the war, and nobody knows where it went. ....." But I don't get it. Don't the Republicans keep telling us that private enterprise is more efficient and therefore out sourcing is more cost effective?