sorry for stealing the video link/topic cromagnum, but its a vary interesting topic and yours got locked "blackwater USA has become one of the most powerful private actors in the so called war on terror. it provides the bush administration with an extraordinary amount of political cover. the deaths of blackwater contractors and other war contractors are not included in the total death count, even though some 780 of them have been killed in iraq. their injuries don't get counted either, their crimes don't get punished. what you have is a revolving door. blackwater and other companies benefit the bush administration and in turn the bush administration and its republican allies in congress have shielded these military contractors from any effective oversight, any effective accountability, any effective legal system. their operations are shrouded in secrecy and the people in congress find it almost impossible to get information about blackwater and other companies operations."- from the video. the trend seems to be that any restrictions on troop levels in iraq by american forces won't matter because mercenaries could be used instead. this outsourcing of a national guard is making the control of this force lie in the hands of fewer, less regulated people. in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related&v=6BDByPfIavQ private contractors shoot cars that follow their vehicle. in one scene in particular, the vehicle with the camera seems to stop on a 3 lane highway and shot a car approaching from the rear, which in turn rear ends another car that was already stopped in another lane. many people have claimed that the war in iraq is about winning the hearts and minds of the iraqi people. more and more, the people who are in charge of this task are fulfilling contracts for their own financial gain that do not necessarily respect the hearts, minds or any other aspect of iraqi civilians in the pursuit of their objectives.