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September 27, 2007

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Peter Principle

"the availability of contractors . . . allows the US to fight wars beyond the means of the all-volunteer army, thus allowing for a more aggressive foreign policy than an electorate might prefer."

To use the software cliche, I'd say that's a feature, not a bug. The whole purpose of firms like Blackwater is to insulate the national security elites from the electoral consequences of their decisions. How else can one run a global empire and remain (marginally) a democracy?

rigel

they did this back in feudal times, too.

sometimes, the mercenaries just said the hell with it and took their employers over as well.

Patrick

Blackwater became important the day that Lt. Gen Eric Shinseki made some dissenting remarks about potential troop levels in Iraq. As that debate grew into a donneybrook, administration officials realized that numbers matter to the American people. Blackwater gave them a thousand free troops on the margins.

Peter Singer's piece, while well articulated, is nothing new; the State Department has admitted as much. "Blackwater frees up combat troops for other, more vital operations."

Every bit as egregious are the translators contracts with L-3 and now DynCorp (disregarding the fact that DynCorp got this windfall through nefarious means, hiring the former heads of Army intelligence and DLI to lobby on their behalf). By outsourcing translation duties to private companies and citizens, it absolves the military and government from knowledge about the target population.

We need to invade Iran? We'll hire five thousand Iranian exiles to translate! They're even the same religion, which is some kind of paganism, if I'm not mistaken. Whatever, invade!

Lester Louis

Companies like Blackwater should be put in command of our forces in Iraq. They have the right approach, kill anyone that gets in your way and prevents you from accomplishing your mission.

I am sick and tired of America having to fight this war with one hand tied behind our back. What ever happed to vanquishing you enemies through scorched earth and overwhelming firepower? It is time we give the Iraq people and their government a clear ultimatum, either stop the violence and get on with rebuilding your government or we will flatten your country. All we would have to do is destroy a few cities and maybe they would get the message. Either get in line or we will bury you and your country under our missiles and bombs.

Heinrich Himmler

What ever happed to vanquishing you enemies through scorched earth and overwhelming firepower? . . . All we would have to do is destroy a few cities and maybe they would get the message. Either get in line or we will bury you and your country under our missiles and bombs.

Now THERE'S a man after my own heart!

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