01 January 2010

OUTSOURCING GONE WRONG


The NYTimes online reports that Iraqis are understandably confounded and outraged that criminal charges have been dropped against Blackwater Worldwide security guards (read mercenaries) who fired indiscriminantly upon unarmed civilians, during an incident which occurred in 2007. It has become common practice, starting in the Reagan years, for the military to hire private contractors (at considerable profit for the contractor) to provide services ranging from construction and preparing meals to providing armed security. Blackwater is only the most famous and notorious of such "security" providers.

In this observer's eyes, the incident is a microcosm of conservative ideology carried to its logical and flawed conclusion. We hire and train a professional military for such duties. Why, other than blatant cronyism and greed, is it necessary to farm out surveillance, security and other military ops to a bunch of heavily-armed cowboys with little oversight and few scruples? The answer is, there is no justification. Yet we wonder why so many in the third world hold us in contempt.

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