The GAO has come out with a report that says Blackwater, and other private contractors, save the taxpayers almost a billion dollars per year.
I have some observations to make about this:The government's use of private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has been blasted as costly to the image of the U.S., and to the country's bottom line, because a company like Blackwater can charge as much as $1222 a day for a hired gun.
But a new government report says they may actually have saved U.S. taxpayers money. The State Department saves roughly $900 million a year using private firms to protect American diplomats in Iraq rather than relying on U.S. government employees, according to a recently published review by the non partisan Government Accounting Office.
1) It goes to show you how wasteful our government is, if $1,200.00 or more per day for a mercenary saves us money.
2) If we are going to use mercenaries, then in order to keep them disciplined, instead of running around and toasting innocent civilians, we need to put them under the military chain of command, and make them responsible for their actions, just as regular soldiers are.
3) Finally, it is not the money that is most important, but our reputation, which many mercenaries have managed to drag into the ditch. When we lose our reputation, we lose everything. Better to pay more money for better professionals, who wont give America a black eye. Who are these better professionals? Why they are our own soldiers, of course.
Here is my own proposal - If we hire private contractors to do some of our gun slinging for us, then make them subject to the military chain of command. Create a division for them, separate from the Army, but let them be just as subject to the UCMJ as any soldier. If they go off the reservation, then make them subject to courts martial, just as if they were in the military, and if they deserve it, send them to Leavenworth. I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that their going off the reservation would become a rare event, if they knew that there would be consequences for doing so.
Article is here.