Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The United States — One nation under contract

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:25 PM
Original message
The United States — One nation under contract
Thanks to Scott Horton, we have a good short interview with Professor Allison Stanger, author of the new book, One Nation Under Contract, a book which, in Horton's words, "takes a close look at the outsourcing of national security and foreign policy functions in the last decade."

Here are a few excerpts from that interview — I urge you to read the rest

You track the growing dependence of the federal government on contractors–from a little more than $200 billion in 2000 to about $440 billion in 2007. What shifts in policy account for this explosive growth in the use of contractors?

The main factor was the privatization of war. Iraq and Afghanistan are America’s first contractors’ wars, with contractors often outnumbering uniformed personnel on the ground in both conflicts. This development is new and unprecedented. At the height of the Vietnam War, contractors represented just 14 percent of the American presence on the ground. Without contractors, we would need a draft to wage these two wars, and with a draft, we would obviously have a very different political situation.

While wartime contracting and successive supplemental appropriations have fueled these dramatic trends, this is not a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans alike embraced outsourcing the work of government to the private sector whenever possible, both as a perceived cost-savings measure and as a mechanism for getting things done more efficiently. But the unprecedented explosion of contracting—to use Defense Secretary Gates’s language, “willy-nilly” contracting—to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan was a tale of unprecedented waste, fraud, and abuse (PDF). Taxpayer money obviously cannot be well spent when government is not following the money.

And what about the current president's role in this?

The trends mapped in the book have continued unabated under the Obama Administration, and in many ways our dependence on contractors has grown. When the State Department replaces the U.S. military in Iraq, they will be wholly reliant on contractors to pursue the mission. To make matters worse, Congress is currently poised to slash funding for open government initiatives from $35 million to $8 million on President Obama’s watch.

http://www.americablog.com/2011/04/united-states-one-na...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. contractors, the guys that will smash your head for $22.00 American
per hour. It sure beats being on the other side I hear.

who was it that said, "I can pay half the population to beat the other half of the population"?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Aug 30th 2014, 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC