Streams

The Invisible Army

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sarah Stillman discusses the recruitment and treatment of foreigners working as support staff on American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her article "The Invisible Army" appears in the June 6, 2011, issue of The New Yorker.

Guests:

Sarah Stillman

Comments [3]

Heather from Connecticut

Very interesting discussion. I often wonder if the situation is similar for some salon and landscaping company employees in the US. Are they promised similar dream jobs? Of course they end up in a safer place than a war zone but are they being treated unfairly and have no way to return to their native countries?

Jun. 07 2011 06:02 PM
Patrick from Newark, NJ

Lennie,

I was a contractor in Iraq. I worked on a web site project and saw all the other contractors this story speaks about. What I'd like you to discuss sometime is the idea most people haven't come to grasp yet. We talk about an all volunteer army and that is true. Soldiers are taught to be trigger-pullers and every other task is now out-sourced. For every soldier over there we had a contractor over there. Besides the "victims" this article describes, there were 20 year old, second generation Iraqi's recruited from the Detroit area making a quarter million dollars a year just because they could translate. There were 18 year old kids handing out pool ques and gym towels making 50 grand a year, non taxed, with all their expenses paid. At Xmas there was all this "care box" stuff sitting around because if someone wanted "candy" or a wash rag or toothbrush they simply went to the PX and bought it. This army volunteered to fight, just like I, at one time, volunteered to work at IBM. It's not like Normandy in 1944. Xmas eve they were Skyping with their kids telling them to get in bed before santa showed up. This is the story that should be told to let the American people grasp that our armies now days are not "victims" who have been drafted as cannon fodder and none of them mops floors or peels potatoes anymore.

Jun. 07 2011 01:48 PM
Richad Johnston from Manhattan upper west side

This is really uninteresting. I am glad I let my New Yorker subscription expire.

Jun. 07 2011 01:34 PM

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