Is America’s Second Contractors’ War Drawing Near?

TIME

Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the 2003 Iraq invasion, there was the predictable commentary about why we went to war and what the consequences were. And there was some attention given to the fact that this had been the most privatized military engagement in U.S. history, with private contractors actually outnumbering traditional troops — the “First Contractors’ War,” as Middlebury College scholar Allison Stanger called it in 2009. No one, however, talked about the possibility of a second contractors’ war, a topic that may surface sooner than we anticipated and one that yields a multitude of questions. This time, for example, will we be told about the extent of the role of military and security contractors? Will we know which companies are making millions, even billions, from providing armed and unarmed services in the name of American defense? Will we know how many layers of subcontractors there are…

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