Given current security conditions in Iraq, including a string of bombings since late December more lethal to civilians than any seen in the last year of the U.S. presence, many could be nervous enough to be trigger-happy. Is this war really over or have we just outsourced it?
Anybody who was dreaming that that the military was going to divest itself of contractors can put that fantasy to rest. Now that the CWC has said the government is over-reliant on contractors, you can see that we have a bit of a contradiction.
The deal worked out to allow a rise in the debt ceiling gives us our first real chance in more than a decade to make significant cuts to our country's out-of-control war budget, but we are going to have to fight for them.
While Eisenhower was certainly dead-on about the big picture of the military-industrial complex, we can imagine even he might be surprised by the dirty details of how that "complex" has evolved since his farewell speech in 1961.
In the shadow elite age, when power brokers can have a dozen roles of influence, criss-crossing and sometimes overlapping, sorting through them to pick the most telling ones is both more difficult -- and more imperative -- than ever before.
The deep scandal of government contracting goes far beyond the actions of a handful of bad actors and products that can seen and touched. It is systemic, insidious, potentially damaging to national security -- and perfectly legal.
When government contractors hire former directors of intelligence and defense-related government agencies, they are banking on coincidences of interest between their hires and their hires' former (government) employers.
Even by the dismal standards of Washington pay-to-play politics, the shenanigans of defense giant Pratt & Whitney -- fighting tooth and nail to keep a multi-billion dollar jet engine contract to itself -- are something else.
With a new emergent phase of democratic and quasi democratic regimes, can enhanced executive power linked to globalization be reoriented to better, noncommercial goals, like climate change, global hunger, or poverty?