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Contractors in American Conflicts December 18, 2009

Posted by Rebecca Williams in Briefing.
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The Center for a New American Security released a very interesting working paper this week on America’s reliance on contractors in wartime and its implications for successful military operations.  Contractors in American Conflicts: Adapting to a New Reality moves beyond the typical discussion of private security contractors (such as Blackwater) and focuses on the bigger picture: the use of contractors has increased across the spectrum of government activities and within the business community, and that third country nations make up a significant portion of DOD contractor personnel.

Included in the report is the following chart that shows the multinational dynamic of US contractors.  The report explains that “American soldiers, diplomats and aid works have become accustomed to being greeted in battlefield dining facilities by Indian servers, dispensing food prepared by Filipinos, on a base guarded by Ugandans and partially constructed by Iraqis. In this sense, then, the US has achieved with its contractors precisely the kind of multinational coalition effort that has at times eluded it when it comes to actual combat operations.  In Iraq today, third country nationals comprise the largest share of US contractor personnel.”

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