Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cutting Costs by Ending Private Military Contracts

A few years ago Peter W. Singer wrote on Outsourcing the Fight:

In 1992 a relatively little-known, Texas-based oil services firm called Halliburton was awarded a $3.9 million Pentagon contract. Its task was to write a classified report on how private companies, like itself, could support the logistics of U.S. military deployments into countries with poor infrastructure. Conspiracy theories aside, it is hard to imagine that either the company or the client realized that 15 years later this contract (now called the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program or LOGCAP) would be worth as much as $150 billion.

The Secretary of Defense back then – Dick Cheney – went onto be the CEO of Halliburton. Whatever happened to that chap?

Michael Froomkin reports on a study that dares to suggest that such privatization actually may increase costs (hat tip to Mark Thoma).

The good news is that a couple of important players may be listening:

Feinstein argued that the crucial parts of intelligence operations - the collection, exploitation and analysis of information - are "inherently governmental functions that should be done by government employees at one-third less the cost per employee." One week into his new role as CIA director, David Petraeus testified Thursday that contractors are at the top of his list of potential cuts in the new era of belt-tightening.

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