Posted by: Tony Carson | 5 October, 2007

Privatizing US Foreign Policy

While most Americans are aware of the controversy over the role of the private security company Blackwater in Iraq, probably few understand that armed contractors in Iraq are just the tip of an iceberg.

Across the globe, in everything from diplomacy to development to intelligence, contractors are a major American presence, and only a small fraction of them carry weapons. American foreign policy, to a great extent, has been privatized.

This short NY Times article Foreign Policy, Privatized together with statistical graph is most interesting.



  1. It’s far better than the alternative. Many if not most of those contractors are provided needed services to foreigns nations. They were allowed to do so as part of agreements made between the US and those countries that further the interests of the US.

    The US IS going to try to further its own interests; that’s a fact of all nations. Doing so via economics ala contractors, factories, etc… is preferable to the more martial methods available.

  2. Ok, fine Jonolan, but where is the transparency? These services might be helpful, they might be productive, they might even be essential. But the fact that they’ve become public out of nowhere smells funny to me.

    The professional security service may be a necessary establishment of modern war, but it must be openly monitored and operate under a very open set of rules and disclosure.

  3. I disagree with except in the cases – such as Blackwater – where the US government is actually providing the paychecks. In other cases please drop the the euphamism; they’re mercenaries plain and simple. At all points they’re the responsibility of those that paythem.

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