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Reply #18: Now THAT's a First Lady! She wouldn't stand for the Pentagon burning a trillion per... [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-05-08 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Now THAT's a First Lady! She wouldn't stand for the Pentagon burning a trillion per...
...she'd ask hubby to put a LOT of that war-making dough to peace-making.

And Dennis feels and looks exactly -- EXACTLY -- like I do.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a free press that covered the candidates and the real issues of the day?

Even the "political scientists" marvel at the horse race and the occassional tongue stud.

Of course, most every working turd at ABCNNBCBSFauxNoiseNutwork misses the point:

Privatizing War

by Greg Guma
Published on Wednesday, July 7, 2004 by United Press International

The use of mercenaries was once a dirty, little secret most governments were loath to acknowledge. But today they're called private military contractors and perform almost every function essential to military operations. The Financial Times has labeled this trend the "creeping privatization of the business of war."

During the first Gulf War, about two percent of U.S. military personnel were private workers. As of 2003, it had reached 10 percent. The Pentagon employs more than 700,000 private contractors, and at least $33 billion of the $416 billion in military spending overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last week will go to PMCs.

In Iraq, these companies supply more trainers and security forces than all remaining members of the "coalition of the willing" except the United States. Approximately 15,000 civilian security guards are stationed there, at least 6,000 of them armed. Some contractors maintain sophisticated weapons systems that used to be handled by the army. More than $20 billion -- almost a third of the Army's budget for Iraq and Afghanistan -- goes to contractors.

One advantage of using private forces is to keep down the casualty count. Although non-military casualties aren't included in official Pentagon reports, Peters Singer, author of "Corporate Warriors," estimates that at least 30 contractors have been killed in Iraq and about 180 have been wounded.

But giving contractors prominent roles does pose risks. For example, Caci International and the Titan Corporation have been implicated in charges of torture, humiliation and rape leveled at the U.S. military in Iraq.

How did we get here?

In 1969, the U.S. Army had about 1.5 million active duty soldiers. By 1992, the figure had been cut by half. Over the last decade, however, the United States has mobilized to intervene in several significant conflicts, and as a result, a corporate "foreign legion" has filled the gap between policy imperatives and what a downsized, over-stretched military can provide.

The push to privatize gained significant traction during the first Bush administration. After the Gulf War, the Pentagon, then headed by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, awarded a Halliburton subsidiary nearly $9 million to study how PMCs could support soldiers in combat zones. The company has since won at least $2.5 billion to construct and run military bases, some in secret locations, as part of the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program.


Privatizing war means bigger profits for Wall Street insiders.

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