Outsourcing War

A recent NY Times article on the state of so called 'security companies', written in the wake of recent sentences handed down for killings in Iraq by Blackwater Employees, shows just how unsavory the industry is.  The article itself does not seem to take a side, but the points it brings up beg some serious questions for us as tax payers.

We fund the largest war machine on the planet.  No one can contradict this.  While China may have more soldiers, they are no match for the combined technical acumen and funding of the Unites States armed forces.  We spend more than $600 Billion each year on defense.


  1. Does that $600 Billion include these contractors?  Or do the contractors draw their pay from other sources as well, like the State Department, the CIA, the NSA, etc...
  2. Are these contractors held to the same standard found in the Uniform Code of Military Justice?  If they are working for the military, shouldn't they be?
  3. Are they paid at the same rate as our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen?  Shouldn't they be?
  4. If a company makes money by participating in a war in a function which provides armed resources, is that not a company of mercinaries?
  5. Why, with the largest, most expensive standing force in the world, would we need to hire mercenaries?  Is it to get around the rules of war?  Is it to distance ourselves as a government from actions we would not allow our military to take?  If so, do we want our government taking such actions?

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