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

By Thomas C. Bruneau | Go to book overview

7
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

The primary purpose of this book is to analyze the formulation and implementation of national security and defense policy in the United States through the prism of civil–military relations. It is intended to fill a gap in the literature on the use of military force by the United States and on the relationship between the military and the democratically elected civilian leadership. The first question this analysis asks is, Who is in charge? That is, who makes the policy decisions, and who is responsible for their implementation? It thus mainly concerns political power. Until now, the literature on civil–military relations has contributed nothing to the analysis of the current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. While there has been an explosion of material recently on defense contractors, particularly the private security contractors, or PSCs, none of it so far has been grounded in an analysis of civil–military relations, which means that it cannot help us situate PSCs within the context of national defense policy. This is especially true now that PSCs have taken on missions that were previously the responsibility of the uniformed military, and 90 percent of their funding in Iraq comes from the Department of Defense. Clearly the increasing use of contractors to carry out what were formerly military duties holds broad implications for U.S. security and the country’s credibility abroad.

The civil–military relations framework used in this book was developed in the course of my work at the Center for Civil–Military Relations and in interactions with civilians and officers from around the world since 1994. It became obvious over years of study that the analysis of civil–military relations cannot be limited to achieving democratic control over the military. While

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