US Now Relying on Mercenaries in Afghanistan
November 20, 2002 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Can Mercenaries Protect Hamid Karzai? The US govt is hiring private mercenaries to do it's dirty work overseas. In short, by hiring private military contractors such as DynCorp, the U.S. government has found an effective way to conduct foreign policy by proxy and in secret. These proxies cannot be monitored, are effectively immune from all criminal sanctions, and are dangerously hard to control since they answer to corporate bosses, not military brass. (easy registration required)
posted by Coop (12 comments total)
 
And the really good part is the private companies can be milked for political campaign contributions! Much better than the old fashioned spoils system in government.
posted by nofundy at 9:45 AM on November 20, 2002


I find the bigger story to be our laissez faire response to post Taliban Afghanistan rather than the administration's hard-on for private sector outsourcing. We seem to be well on the predictable path of not cleaning up after ourselves and fostering a new set of monsters. It's the two fronts, stupid.
posted by machaus at 9:49 AM on November 20, 2002


I just created a metafilter/metafilter account at NRO, so feel free to use that.
posted by mathowie at 9:52 AM on November 20, 2002


I find the bigger story to be our laissez faire response to post Taliban Afghanistan rather than the administration's hard-on for private sector outsourcing

I agree. I am beginning to think that all the talk of "a new hope for Afghanistan" was merely sugarcoating, and that the current administration does not really care what happens there!
posted by cell divide at 10:09 AM on November 20, 2002


I am beginning to think that all the talk of "a new hope for Afghanistan" was merely sugarcoating, and that the current administration does not really care what happens there!

Say, anyone know what the Pope's religion is? I'm still having a few doubts. :)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:14 AM on November 20, 2002


There's a big difference between mercenaries and private security corporations, and it's not just semantic.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:41 AM on November 20, 2002


[I just created a metafilter/metafilter account at NRO, so feel free to use that.]

FYI Political Junkies - The New Republic Online is usually referred to as TNR while NRO refers to National Review Online.
posted by revbrian at 10:51 AM on November 20, 2002


Mo Nickels, what is that difference? (I'm not trying start a fight. I actually want to know.)
posted by originalname37 at 10:51 AM on November 20, 2002


When was the last time Afghanistan wasn't governed by thuggish tribally organized warlords? Were the US to attempt to impose our model of society on Afghanistan 1) it would fail in a bloody fashion and 2) the US would be damned for doing it. Bugging out and letting the place revert to its miserable form, sans Taliban and al-Qa'ida training camps, is probably the best anyone could hope for. Pentagon's black budget Magic Wand program is still in early stages. There is a limit to US power and it looks like the current administration decided not to attept the impossible.

But no, it is easier to blame America for Afghanistan's political environment. If only there was a way to ascribe it all to a conspiracy about oil, or GM crops or something.
posted by ednopantz at 11:15 AM on November 20, 2002


U.S. seems to be at least bending, even if not breaking all the international laws that it would like others to live up to. This double standard of ethics is truly worrying, privatized or not.

When was the last time Afghanistan wasn't governed by thuggish tribally organized warlords?

Just 23 years ago, before the civil war started. The U.S. and the Soviet Union are in part responsible for the beginning of that war also.
posted by hoskala at 11:32 AM on November 20, 2002


Bugging out and letting the place revert to its miserable form, sans Taliban and al-Qa'ida training camps, is probably the best anyone could hope for.

See, the problem is that it wouldn't remain sans Taliban and Al-Qa'ida (or analogues thereof) for five minutes if we left. And then we'd just have to start all over. Better to bite the bullet and build a nation.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:39 AM on November 20, 2002


But it (DynCorp) also used apparently trumped-up charges, such as time-card tampering, to fire two employees who had brought their co-workers' crimes to light. The two employees both sued to get their jobs back, and, this summer, only weeks before DynCorp was awarded the Karzai mission

Corporate boss to the two whistle blowers:

"Hey guys, let's put that whole whistle blowing misunderstanding behind us and focus on the future. Speaking of which, pack your bags, I've got a great new assignment you two are just going to love..."
posted by CoolHandPuke at 11:45 AM on November 20, 2002


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