CNN: Iraq Contractors Make Billions

Although I tend to discount the objectivity of CNN as much as Fox News (based on the liberal bias of the former, and conservative bias of the latter), I could not read through this article without giving thought to the story's Spend Management implications of fighting wars as the DOD makes a shift from "make" to "buy" in many human-resource areas. Whether you support the war or not, this is not a political issue as much of an economic one in my view.

According to the article, "The market for private contractors is there thanks to an unprecedented "outsourcing" of conflict, according to Amy Clark, who led the Baghdad end of a small private security contractor ... Where you've got a military where the assets and the personnel are strained, then private contractors have had to step in and fill the void." I must say the picture of a machine-gun touting "rent-a-solider" on board a "rent-a-helicopter" in the article is utterly fascinating. From an economic perspective, it's also interesting to note that these companies must pay a market-dictated rate for talent based on the risk involved, which allows mercenary soldiers / support-staff to make "a year's salary in 3 months". Clearly, this is one place where outsourcing is not saving anyone money. Appealing to the wallet more than duty and patriotism is also a shift as well.

Jason Busch

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