Outsourcing Death and Destruction

The Army is seeking contractors to go to Iraq. Explains David Johnson, a former Army lieutenant colonel who is executive director of the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, “Contractors aren’t considered ‘boots on the ground’ in conflict zones. The government always seeks to minimize boots on the ground to reduce domestic political risk. The American people and media do not consider a paid contractor to represent them in the same way that they do a soldier.”

And listen to this about Afghanistan: “Contractors are carrying a greater share of the load in Afghanistan these days as well. The U.S. plans to reduce the number of troops deployed there to fewer than 10,000 by year’s end but, according to a Congressional Research Service report, the number of contractors in Afghanistan ballooned to 108,000 last March at a time when 65,700 U.S. troops were there.” Johnson also said that “vast numbers of contractors would likely remain in Afghanistan as troop levels declined.”

And you thought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were winding down? Contractors are mercenaries just like U.S. troops. They just don’t get paid directly by the U.S. government.

Thanks to D.J.

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3:51 pm on September 9, 2014

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