Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thomas Friedman on America's mercenaries

Friedman's essay in today's NY Times is in many ways on-target, and welcome:

we’ve fallen into a pattern of outsourcing some of the very core tasks of government — interrogation, security, democracy promotion. As more and more of this government work gets contracted and then subcontracted . . .  the public interest can get lost and abuse and corruption get invited in. We’re also building a contractor-industrial-complex in Washington that has an economic interest in foreign expeditions. Doesn’t make it wrong; does make you want to be watchful.

My questions:

  • Where was all this concern six years ago?  The problem of mercenaries was already emerging . . . but TF was a big fan of Bush's war at first, so I guess he was content to number these guys among the American heroes who were "liberating Iraq" and building "democracy" there.
  • Why no mention of the anti-American rage that the mercenary thugs of DynCorps, Triple Canopy, and Blackwater have provoked in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now even Pakistan?

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