Always conscious of budget constraints the US war machine has found “outsourcing” to be a more palatable way to get funding. I believe the Army has fewer cooks than it used to because it’s been outsourced to a variety of war profiteers (who have lobbyists to fight for their interests).
In many other areas military jobs have become filled by civilians. This allows the government to declare that we only have 50, 100, 200,000 boots on the ground.
If you count the civilian contractors who drive trucks, do construction, electrical, logistical as well as security (Blackwater which just did a name change) and you have an amazing number of people involved in the war.
Most of the ones who do the fighting and dying are the young and impressionable boys and girls in their teens and 20’s who need a job or actually believe in “Glory and Heroism.” but return damaged and disillusioned.
Meanwhile opportunities keep arising for the brave and intrepid individuals who (apparently) compete with and profit from our own intelligence services. – carlos
Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A.
Paul Hosefros/The New York Times
Duane R. Clarridge in 1991. He still runs a private spy agency, after the military ended his contract.
By MARK MAZZETTI, Published: January 22, 2011
WASHINGTON — Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.
Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.
Hatching schemes that are something of a cross between a Graham Greene novel and Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy,” Mr. Clarridge has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge’s suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict, associates say. Read more in the NY Times…