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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:25 PM
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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 contractorsfrom 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 Americas 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 contractingto use Defense Secretary Gatess language, willy-nilly contractingto 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 Obamas watch.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:38 PM
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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"?
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