Worth a Look: Contractors in Stability Operations

10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Worth A Look

Stability Operations for Dummies: The Role of the Prvate Sector in Iraq (YouTube Briefing)

Doug Brooks, founding President of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) has a video circulating that offers the soft sales pitch for outsourcing “contingency support.”  It is all positive and completely avoids all of the negatives, such as:

1.  Pillaging and disrupting existing intelligence and special operations ranks by incentivizing early retirement.

2.  Cost 3x to 10X that of a uniformed or civil service source.

3.  Profit motive rather than mission motive.

4.  Pretends contractor mistakes are not politically accountable.

5.  Pretends contractors actually favor low-cost locals (which radically reduces overhead profits)

6.  Pretends contractors actually fit exactly the right person to the job rather than being a body mover

7.  Completely avoids the massive failure of contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan–they are part of the PROBLEM, not part of the solution because their existence–and the policymaker’s ignorant choice of contractors–undermines both Whole of Government and Multinational Multifunctional operations.

Phi Beta Iota: Until the US Government masters strategic thinking, re-learns how to do multinational engagement, and re-learns how to write Statements of Work (SOW) with coherent metrics for evaluating performance–AND absolutely forbids contractors from recruiting government employees still in active service, this is not going to get fixed.  It merits comment that a great deal of crime accompanies contractor engagements in war zones, and both drug smuggling and illicit arms sales seems to be a very profitable fringe activity once contractors are invited into a war zone.

For alternative non-fiction perspectives:

Review: The Shock Doctrine–The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Review: First Do No Harm–Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

Review: Deliver Us from Evil–Peacekeepers, Warlords and a World of Endless Conflict

Review: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Journal: Outsourcing Honor, Losing Common Sense

Review: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Journal: Somalia, Special Operations, and Soft Power Not Present

Journal: Chuck Spinney Sends–Viet-Nam RMK-BRJ Reprise….Wanna Fix New Orleans? Just move it to Afghanistan….

Review: Blood Money–Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq

Review: Bad Money–Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism

Review: The Three Trillion Dollar War–The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

Review: Licensed to Kill–Hired Guns in the War on Terror (Hardcover)

Review: Dead Aid–Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa

Review: Bad Samaritans–The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism

Review: Uncomfortable Wars Revisited (International and Security Affairs Series) (Hardcover)

Review: A Half Penny on the Federal Dollar–The Future of Development Aid

Review: Fixing Failed States–A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World

Review: The Bottom Billion–Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

See also Review menu, especially Capitalism (Good & Bad) (125);  Iraq (33);  Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class (103); and  Stabilization & Reconstruction (29)