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A "What's Wrong With Contractors" Link Drop

The stories about contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to amaze me. Five months ago, my post on military contractors and their unreliability garnered a lot of feedback. I wrote they were untrustworthy then; apparently not much has changed.

Eric and I aren't fans of military contracting. Eric C thinks it is immoral, I believe it is ineffective. When historians write the histories of our current wars, the inefficiencies of both the military and the contractors will explain why victory was so elusive for so many years.

Partly because of the creation of the Commission on Wartime Contracting, contractors have popped back up in the news. We decided to provide a collection of links to highlight the best of these stories.

KBR hampers pull out of Iraq - Turns out, getting out of Iraq will not be hampered by violence or domestic political issues, but by negotiations by KBR to increase their profits.

In fact, KBR is sending more people to Iraq. Even with work to do pulling out of Iraq, it defies logic that KBR continues to send in new employees.

CENTCOM unsure exactly how many contractors it employs. This gem from Reuters describes how the military has only a guess of how many contractors we actually employ in Afghanistan.

KBR bribes the Iraqi government. Iraqis government officials took bribes by KBR and dropped murder charges.

A new book on military contracting: One Nation Under Contract Allison Stranger's new book comes down pretty harshly on military contracting (among other forms of contracting).

But don't worry, Iraqi contracting is even worse than American contracting.

And on the lighter side: The Daily Show says Republicans want rape to be legal for military contractors.

three comments

During our Commander’s Update Briefs the S1 has slides showing the total number of Soldiers and Contractors on the FOB.

Guess which is higher.


We’ve been waiting for a comment for a while from you, and it was worth the wait.


Accountability of your gear is one of the most basic concepts in the military, a private who loses so much as a pair of cat eyes will be looking at a statement of charges and a counseling statement, but somehow all these contractors will get away with losing track of millions of dollars worth of equipment without thinking twice about it. And when Centcom is not even able to tell you how many contractors they employ that smells like a huge oversight problem, one that contractors are more than likely exploiting to overcharge taxpayers (though they do that anyways with cost-plus contracts).