Chasing down an idea-came across two interesting articles. They’re about contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sooo-let me paint a muddy picture with some very broad strokes based on these articles. Tell me if you think I’m in the ballpark, please. Also, if you have anything more on the topic, send it my way. Thank you!

The armed forces in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan, and AFAIK has generally left Iraq. With “nation building” work still to be done, and security necessary for those who are doing the work, foreign contractors are taking over.

Are those contractors all American, or guaranteed to hold ideas that are America-friendly? Not as far as I know.

Are those contractors all peaceful? No. The military and security forces of these new, weak governments simply don’t have the strength to handle insurgency and security well enough to make the contractors “safe” enough to do their jobs.

This leads me to a few questions that I don’t think are being asked, not anywhere I can find, anyway:

1) Who pays these contractors?
2) If a mercenary group acts badly, what happens to rein them in?
3) If the local people are taking over many of these these “nation-building” jobs, where is the expertise coming from to oversee that they are doing the work competently?

Now-an assumption: The US is footing the bill?

If this is the case, it would seem to me that this would be a matter of budget shifting, and not fiscal responsibility. It creates a temporary “subject state” for the US, one easily removed from power by insurgents, but one into which the US sinks untold wealth for no return. Money the US does not have to spend-the equivalent of a rich man going into extraordinary debt to be able to pay for the nice house of the neighbor who has little to no skills and is generally unproductive, and dislikes the rich man to begin with.

In the end, the pauper brings down the rich man, creating another pauper, but now a pauper who is hated and unable to defend himself due to his lack of funds.

Will the mercenaries stand up for the rich man? Sure. Until a paycheck fails to clear. Then they get added to the list of debtors who want blood.

In the end, the rich man loses everything, and one of two things happens. The rich man who is now a pauper gets help from others who are still rich, and in turn becomes a client to them, but is able to protect himself and whatnot, so long as he follows his financiers’ orders. The other possibility would be that no one lends the now-pauper a thing, and he is destroyed by his debtors, who throw a party while they burn down his house.

Am I seeing this right? What am I missing?


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Filed under Social ideas, Thoughts

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