Patriots for Profit: Contractors and the Military in U.S. National Security

Synopsis

This book develops a new approach to the analysis of civil-military relations by focusing on the effectiveness of the armed forces in fulfilling roles & missions, and on their efficiency in terms of cost. The approach is applied to the United States using official documents and interviews with policy-makers. In addition to analyzing the impact of defense reform initiatives over the past thirty years, the book includes the recent phenomenon of "contracting-out" security that has resulted in greater numbers of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than uniformed military personnel.

While the book demonstrates that democratic civilian control of the military in the U. S. is not at issue, it reveals that there is little public control over Private Security Contractors due to a combination of the current restricted interpretation of what is an "inherently governmental function" and limited legal authority. This is despite the fact that PSCs have taken on roles and missions that were previously the responsibility of the uniformed military. Further, despite numerous efforts to redress the problem, current political and institutional barriers to reform are not likely to be overcome soon.

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