NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Private Companies Very Much Involved in War Preparations

March 17, 2003

Private contractors are playing a large and growing role in preparations for the war in Iraq. The Pentagon has been outsourcing as many tasks as possible to allow the military to focus on fighting.

Private headhunting firms are supplying civilian recruiters to replace military personnel in some states.

  • Mundane chores like Kitchen Patrol duty and laundry detail have been outsourced at bases as far away as Afghanistan and Kuwait.
  • In fact, a private corporation won a Defense Department contract to protect Afghan leader Hamid Kharzhai, who survived an assassination attempt last fall.
  • During the Gulf War, there was one contractor for every 100 soldiers -- today there are 10 for every 100.

By one estimate the Pentagon this year will spend at least $30 billion -- or one-eighth its budget -- on military services from private companies, even if the U.S. doesn't go to war in Iraq.

Source: Nelson D. Schwartz, "The Pentagon's Private Army," Fortune, March 17, 2003.


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