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Uncertain Future for Contractors in Iraq

There are an estimated 6,000 western private security contractors in Iraq. Often times, the line between defense and offense can blur as contractors are drawn into heavy firefights with insurgents. There's no real authority structure to control these contractors, and some U.S. lawmakers worry that it's setting a dangerous precedent in a war zone. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.

Copyright 2004 NPR

Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.