brian on 2005.07.16
at 01:54 am
I just finished watching an episode of PBS’s Frontline called Private Warriors. It details what’s going on with the Pentagon’s use of contractors in its wars.
The US has traditionally used contractors to ferry cargo across the world to it, or provide provisions, etc. But never has the government used so many contractors in so many positions. In fact, contractors are the second largest force in Iraq.
There are tens of thousands of contractors in US war zones right now. Many carrying guns. But none of those gun-toting people have accountability outside of being fired. None of them have the intelligence or communications that soldiers in their positions would have. If someone dies, who is responsible when someone dies? Or kills an Iraqi? And if one of those contractors who is doing a very important security detail decides he wants to go home… can. A soldier cannot just decide to leave his watchtower without repercussion.
Most importantly however, is the fact that an Iraqi doesn’t know who is a US Soldier representing the citizens of the United States… and who is an unaccountable contractor.
Clearly there is a place for contractors, but perhaps when we take a look at who we have in there and what they’re doing, that maybe we should reconsider exactly what’s going on over there.
You can go to PBS’s website and watch the entire episode, free. Well, since PBS is partially funded by your tax dollars, you’ve already paid for it. It’s a great resource and I would hope more of their episodes get archived there.
Come to think of it… since many in the government are trying to cut the funding of PBS, perhaps they’re doing to good of a job. Get this info before they shut ‘em down.
Posted in: Media · Politics · Recent Events
Jake said on 2005.07.21 at 11:17 am
I just got a chance to watch the episode online. It is amazing to see how the contracting world is run over there. Billions of dollars poured into these companies who have basically no accountability.
Even our soldiers have animosity toward them because they can get in the way of our military missions. I have to agree with Brian, there is a place for contractors but we’re taking it way too far and are going to pay for it in the long run.
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