Has the Privatization of National Security Gone Too Far?

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While the U.S. military has long relied on private contractors, the outsourcing of key national security functions has increased dramatically in recent years. From intelligence gathering and logistical support to personal security services, training, and operational support tasks, the efforts of contractors are now integral to the success of America’s security and stabilization missions around the world. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, one dollar out of every five has been spent on private contractors and by most estimates, there are more private contractors in Iraq than uniformed military.

Yet, this increased dependence has not been matched by a commensurate effort in the Pentagon or Congress to regulate this growing virtual army of contractors. Indeed, there has been a virtual abdication of responsibilities when it comes to the management and oversight of military contracting. With a new Administration preparing to take the reins of power there is a unique opportunity to put in place a new strategy for determining the role these private actors will play in helping fight Americas wars.

The Privatization of Foreign Policy Initiative in New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program has produced a report, “Changing the Culture of Pentagon Contracting” that offers policymakers in Congress, the Executive branch and uniformed military concrete recommendations for dealing with the growing challenge of integrating contractors more effectively into U.S. national security operations. Join us on November 14th for the release of this report and a discussion about the role and responsibilities of private military contractors going forward.


Erik Prince of Blackwater Makes a Statement

Erik Prince, CEO of Blackwater, made a statement at the New America Foundation Event, “Has the Privatization of National Security Gone Too Far?” – 11.14.08


And in the news today, thanks to CLG:

New Blackwater Iraq Scandal: Guns, Silencers and Dog Food –Ex-employees Tell ABC News the Firm Used Dog Food Sacks to Smuggle Unauthorized Weapons to Iraq 14 Nov 2008 A federal grand jury in North Carolina is investigating allegations the controversial private security firm Blackwater illegally shipped assault weapons and silencers to Iraq, hidden in large sacks of dog food, ABCNews.com has learned. “The only reason you need a silencer is if you want to assassinate someone,” said former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant.

One thought on “Has the Privatization of National Security Gone Too Far?

  1. there are just some things even govt.s do not wish to be accountable for, so the fault fall on a private enterprises that went awry….

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