When did war stop being inherently governmental?

In Congress, nine years after the initial engagement of military operations in Afghanistan, moral and strategic questions are being raised about military contracting in combat zones. Centrally, when it comes to war, what are inherently governmental functions? What war-related governmental functions are being outsourced and how does the expanded use of contractors and subcontractors affect overall military and governmental command structures? How does the abundance of subcontractors in Afghanistan affect sentiments toward the war – in country, at home in America, and abroad – and the overall course of the conflict? Is the United States willing to contract its “enemies” or “potential enemies” in order to ensure the security of its strategic interests and military supply chain? How much distance is there between “the price of doing business” and the price of peace?

Would speculative answers to these questions impact our understanding, support, and/or tolerance of US policies that appropriate and sustain the murkiness of what “we” are doing there?


Contracting in Combat Zones:

A Civilian Surge vs. Danger in Afghanistan: (notice how the Defense Undersecretary for Policy looks down when she says, “State Department security forces” instead of contractors)

War: Outsourcing vs. Inherently Governmental Functions:

Military Command:

Purview of Law/Government:

Status Reporting, Oversight, and Accountability:

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