Sunday, September 23, 2007

Opinion (Rosa Brooks): Outsourcing foreign policy

WAR FOR SALE -- CHEAP! Somewhat tarnished but still offers significant profit-making opportunities for the entrepreneurial. Inquire at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. Additional components of U.S. foreign policy also for sale (including, but not limited to, intelligence gathering, humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism).

You probably haven't seen that ad on Craigslist or in the classified section of your local paper. But believe me, that ad, or something very much like it, has been circulating quietly in certain corporate circles for several years.

Erik Prince, CEO of Blackwater USA (which describes itself as "the most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping and stability operations company in the world") has seen the ad. So have Jerry Hoffman, CEO of ArmorGroup, and Herb Lanese, CEO of DynCorp. The ad has also made its way to CACI, Haliburton and its subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, and the rest of the corporations that make money doing the things we used to assume only the U.S. government did -- such as fight our wars, protect our diplomats, interrogate suspected terrorists and engage in nation-building.

Read the rest at the LA Times