Thursday, September 27, 2007

Can't Win with 'Em, Can't Go To War without 'Em

The Brookings Institution has a report on outsourcing security to private military 'contractors'. Good read.

The use of private military contractors appears to have harmed, rather than helped the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Even worse, it has created a dependency syndrome on the private marketplace that not merely creates critical vulnerabilities, but shows all the signs of the last downward spirals of an addiction. If we judge by what has happened in Iraq, when it comes to private military contractors and counterinsurgency, the U.S. has locked itself into a vicious cycle. It can't win with them, but can't go to war without them.

The study explores how the current use of private military contractors:


Inflames popular opinion against, rather than for, the American mission through operational practices that ignore the fundamental lessons of counterinsurgency. As one set of contractors described. "Our mission is to protect the principal at all costs. If that means pissing off the Iraqis, too bad."

Weakened American efforts in the "war of ideas" both inside Iraq and beyond. As one Iraqi government official explained even before the recent shootings. "They are part of the reason for all the hatred that is directed at Americans, because people don't know them as Blackwater, they know them only as Americans. They are planting hatred, because of these irresponsible acts."

Shorter: The mercs are hurting rather than helping the situation, not that there's much that can help anyway. No oversight, no accountability, no enforcement, not subject to any law. and at terrific expense.

Who was the fuckin' idiot that started this shit, anyway? My guess is Bremer and Rumsfeld. It's still Bush's fault.

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