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Robert Jones-KBR Archive

The Uncounted Contractor Casualties

Posted May 9, 2011 By Ms Sparky

David IsenbergThe PMSC Observer & Huffington Post

Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)

Of all the things said and written about private military and security contractors working for the U.S. government in various war zones one of the least discussed is the sacrifices they make. And like regular military forces they also pay the ultimate sacrifice, as in dying. Unlike regular military personnel their deaths rarely get any notice, aside from a company press release and a few paragraphs in the hometown newspaper. (click HERE for Fallen Contractors Memorial at American Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan)

Their sacrifices are so unrecognized that if Washington, D.C. were to build yet another war memorial on the mall The Tomb of the Unknown Contractor would have to be considered a viable candidate for selection. To paraphrase the old saw about regular military forces, one might say in regard to recognition of contractors wounded and killed, “nothing is too good for our contractors so that’s what we’ll give them. Nothing.”

Admittedly there is slightly better recognition of the wounded and dead contractors than when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq but that is not saying a whole lot.  There simply has not been much detailed analysis of this subject. That is why a recent paper strongly deserved attention. It is Dead Contractors: The Un-Examined Effect of Surrogates on the Public’s Casualty Sensitivity by Prof. Steven L. Schooner and student Collin D. Swan, both of the George Washington University Law School,  was recently published in the Journal of National Security Law & Policy.

In the paper they examine the “casualty sensitivity” effect. Economists define this as an inverse relationship exists between the number of military deaths and public support. Currently, most studies suggest that “majorities of the public have historically considered the potential and actual casualties in U.S. wars and military operations to be an important factor in their support.” Read the remainder of this entry »

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Robert Michael Jones, age 38 died on January 12, 2009 while working for KBR as a Labor Foreman at Camp Falcon in Iraq. Robert had worked for KBR since 2005.

He was a Senior Airman in the United States Air Force and served in Desert Storm.

He is survived by his loving mother, son, sister, nieces and nephew as well as other family and extended family members. He also had countless friend in both the US and Iraq.

The Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID) investigation is still “open and ongoing” and the “cause of death” is still “undetermined”.

On behalf of the family, if you have any information surrounding the circumstances of Robert’s death, please email me by clicking HERE or you can leave it as a comment.  Also, if you have information for the CID, I can get you in touch.

Ms Sparky