Pentagon Increasingly Outsources War Effort

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The Army that cleaned latrines and did kitchen patrol is a thing of the past, with that kind of grunt work now performed by private contractors. But those aren't the only kind of tasks that have been outsourced by the Pentagon. The second largest force in Iraq is 100,000 private contractors, many performing jobs that soldiers used to do including that of providing security for construction projects, diplomats and visiting dignitaries. One of the largest is Blackwater USA, which has been called, "the world's most powerful mercenary army." Supporters of privatization say it will be critical to the US military for a long time to come. Critics call it "outsourcing war" behind the backs of the American people. Is it a good deal for taxpayers? Does it help soldiers do their real jobs? Is it a formula for conducting war without accountability?

Credits

Guests:
Katy Helvenston-Wettengel - mother whose son was killed in Iraq, Doug Brooks - President of the International Peace Operations Association, Jeremy Scahill - Fellow at the Nation Institute, Robert Rowe - Former truck driver for KBR, Deborah Avant - Professor of Political Science at George Washington University

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Katie Cooper, Christian Bordal, Frances Anderton