Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Thursday. The text of his remarks is available here.
In his testimony, Scahill noted that private contractors in Iraq sometimes make in a month what an active-duty soldier makes in year. This, of course, creates resentment and envy. It also creates an incentive for experienced military professionals to leave the armed forces of the United States in order to go to work for private contractors. Scahill stated, "There is slang in Iraq now for this jump. It is called 'Going Blackwater.' To put it bluntly, these private forces create a system where national duty is outbid by profits."
Read the entire statement.