Editor's Note: Another day at the office ? not

Nick Wakeman

Car bombs, mortars and death threats ? the morning commute doesn't seem as stressful after reading Roseanne Gerin's cover story on contractors working in Iraq.

Safety is an overriding concern, but companies also have to deal with local customs and the pressures of working far from home. Gerin also touches on the transition that is under way as companies hire local workers to replace American employees. The story of Anmar, one Iraqi worker, illustrates the risks and sacrifices these people face. Anmar returned to his parent's home in Baghdad one day to find a death threat tacked to the door. He fled to Cairo, where he continues to work and hope for his country.

Gerin also has a story that examines the phenomenon of 20 major governmentwide contracts to be awarded in 2006 and 2007. With a combined ceiling of nearly $290 billion, these deals are huge and will dominate the procurement landscape for years. Contractors that don't land a spot on one of these risk being at a severe competitive disadvantage.

Accompanying Gerin's story is a chart that outlines the contracts, their status and what they will be used for. More details are available on our Web site, www.washingtontechnology.com.

This issue, we also unveil two new features. One is a briefs column of small-business news. It runs with our monthly "Making the Team" profile in our federal section. We also present "RFP Toolkit," a monthly feature in our Emerging Technology section that highlights specific technologies and how to incorporate them into a bid.

These are just part of our goal of looking for new ways to serve our readers. Let me know what you think at nwakeman@postnewsweektech.com.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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