Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things That Make You Go, "Say, What?"

You'd think after one disastrous war that military officials would take a long, hard look at what went wrong and determine not to make those mistakes again. You would, of course, be wrong. While Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has promised to get rid of at least some of the private contractors who performed badly and sloppily, causing unnecessary deaths to both Iraqi civilians and US soldiers, the Pentagon is now looking to expand the use of some of those same contractors in Afghanistan, at least according to Washington Post:

The U.S. military command is considering contracting a private firm to manage security on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan, even as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says that the Pentagon intends to cut back on the use of private security contractors.

On a Web site listing federal business opportunities, the Army this month published a notice soliciting information from prospective contractors who would develop a security plan for 50 or more forward operating bases and smaller command outposts across Afghanistan. ...

"The contractor shall be responsible for providing security services, developing, implementing, adequately staffing, and managing a security program," the notice said, adding that the contractor would have to be available "24 hours a day, seven days a week."

That's right: we're going to hire a private security force to protect our bases because apparently our soldiers can't do that. That's a fine kettle of mackerel, isn't it?

Now, just ten days ago, Sec. Gates seemed to imply that this kind of nonsense was going to stop:

At a town hall meeting at Fort Drum, N.Y., on July 16, Gates said that the military had let contracting "grow without the kind of controls that we should" have had. The purpose, he said, was "to try and free up as many soldiers for actual combat duty, rather than having them do things that civilian contractors could do."

Contractors, Gates noted, have done a variety of jobs, including running dining facilities and doing laundry, cleaning chores and security work. "So, we're kind of going back through all of these roles, at this point, to figure out where military ought to be doing these things and where civilian contractors can be," he said.
[Emphasis added]

I guess he's changed his mind. Either that, or he hasn't bothered to mention his plan to the Army officials who placed the "help wanted" ad on the government web site. Regardless, it appears that we will now have an army of mercenaries (Blackwater or "Xe" types) operating alongside the regular military. Parallel armies, parallel commanders? Probably.

Well, if we're going to do that, why not just go all the way? Bring the US military home, hire Xe (or whomever) and let them fight our wars for us. In fact, we really wouldn't need our own military at all, or a Pentagon, or a military industrial complex which sucks our budget dry. States could keep their National Guard troops for emergencies, but they could be kept at home. If we didn't have to send so many dollars to Washington, DC to float the Pentagon, states could afford to equip the Guard and to train them without straining the state budgets.

In fact, why even bother with a federal government at all? I mean, it does seem incapable of doing anything right, right?

Clean cups! Clean cups!

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Anonymous PeasantParty said...

Go, Diane! Just think how much money we could save. In fact, gold health plans could be had by all.

The Xe or Blackwater business never should have been allowed to participate in Iraq or Afghanistan. Bush and Cheney ruined our good name in so many ways.

4:55 PM  

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