Friday, January 12, 2007
The problems in Iraq now are many, and I don’t feel it necessary to go over them here, as it would be highly redundant. But I believe we all can agree that the problems in Iraq do not simply stem from one source but are the product of many events and circumstances. My idea should affect some positive changes to at least a couple of those circumstances. Here it is, in a nutshell.
As of today, the most recent American Military Census for Iraq shows that we have roughly 152000 troops in Iraq. More interestingly, perhaps, is that the same census counts over 100000 American contractors in Iraq, and that doesn’t include subcontractors. Other, non-official, counts of contractors put the number as high 300 or 400 thousand.
Regardless of the exact count of US government contractors, I believe it is safe to say that there are at least as many contractors and sub-contractors in Iraq as there are members of the US Armed Forces, many of which have a bit of a checkered past.
But what are they actually doing, and are they necessary?
As to the first part of the question, the answer is basically everything. The contractors now handle logistics for the US Military (which, up until the early to mid nineties was all handle by the USAS), they build roads and telecom systems, they work private security details, and just about everything else that needs doing that our military is not trained or equipped to do.
As to the second part of the question, are they necessary, I would say that some are. But I believe that the vast majority are not.
So here’s my idea. The commanders on the ground take an inventory of all of the government contractors and what exactly their contracts involve. If there are contractors doing jobs that are strategic, tactical, or general military requirements and these jobs, due to security reasons, must be done by people under US control, then those contractors stay. Every other contractor, however, must be sent out of Iraq.
All the jobs that were being done by the contractors must then be done by either our military or by Iraqi citizens and businesses. By doing this we accomplish a number of things:
1. We decrease the number of American casualties by getting these people out of the way.
2. We decrease the number of crimes committed against the Iraqis by non-Iraqis. Most of these crimes are being committed by contractors as there is no governing legal authority that covers them. They are basically free to do as they please.
3. We massively decrease the amount of money we are spending in Iraq.
4. We massively increase the Iraqi economy.
5. Hundreds of thousands of would-be militiamen, kidnappers-for-hire, etc, would have jobs. If there were no other reason for removing the contractors, I believe that this would be enough, as it has many positive secondary and tertiary effects.
That’s the short version of it anyway. Thoughts?