Some of the subsequent press coverage criticized KBR, but that missed the point. Sure, in several respect KBR could have done much better, but at least it held special inspections documenting atrocious living conditions and threatened to cut off awards to the subcontractor.
The responsibility lies with the U.S. government to ensure that these workers -- who provide valuable services to our troops and embassies -- are not trafficked, forced into indentured servitude, or otherwise exploited on the taxpayer's dime.
The latest Quarterly and Semiannual Report of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction was released January 30. What follows are relevant excerpts of some of the more noteworthy contractor related activities.
Anyone who has ever used a contractor for anything knows they all have one thing in common, aside from actually doing the job. And that is to do more jobs for you in the future. In short they want your continued business.
For those who follow private military contracting issues, it sometimes seems that all the focus is on the United States. That is understandable given the sheer number and value of contracts performed by the private sector in the US but it is hardly the only country doing this.
While the quantity and quality of literature on the subject has both increased in volume and improved in quality, it is still rare to find publications which focus on the strategic impact of private military and security contractors.
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.
Private military and security contracting folks like to point out that despite past mistakes and problems in oversight and accountability of such contracts, overall things are getting better. But are they really?
How fast has spending on private military contracting grown? A new report states that in FY 1990 spending was $49 billion. In FY 2010 it was $161 billion, or just over 40 percent of all contract spending.
Private military and security contractors are the military's equivalent of the American Express card: it cannot go to war without them. Of course, as anyone who has ever used one knows, every credit card is a problem if you use it too much.