Thursday, July 12, 2007

Perspective: Privatizing women

Left: A soldier takes in the offerings at a shop in the 'Green Zone' in Baghdad. Several reports have emerged of brothels there found and closed by the military.

Military prostitution has long been seen around U.S. bases in the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and other countries. But since the U.S. has begun to deploy forces to many Muslim countries, it cannot be as open about enabling prostitution for its personnel. U.S. military deployments in the Gulf War, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War have reinvigorated prostitution and the trafficking of women in the Middle East.

Another major change has been the reliance of the U.S. military on private contractors, who have now surpassed the number of soldiers in Iraq. Public attention has begun to focus on the role of these contractors in U.S. war zones. Less attention has been paid to how private contractors are changing the nature of military prostitution. In the best known example, DynCorp employees were caught trafficking women in Bosnia, and some indications suggest that similar acts may be taking place in Iraq.

Read the rest at Counterpunch