“There are many questions as to how a myriad of heavily armed private armies can serve the purpose of the US military and foreign policy,” writes Robert Young Pelton, in Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror.
Pelton has traveled with both military and private contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq throughout the conflict. He describes the new terrain shaped by outsourcing and reports that it bears little resemblance to the noble enterprise sold to the military years ago. Five years into operations, it is a darkly obscured landscape of violence, profiteering, and negligence. He senses that this parallel army is undermining the entire mission, leading to “blowback of extraordinary proportions.”
“It strikes at the core of the entire American principle, the idea of the citizen soldier,” he tells TAC. “We’ve been fighting this war longer than World War II, and the military is absolutely dependent on the private sector.” [complete article]