And when we weigh the devastating consequences that the Iraq war has had on America’s broader security and standing in the world, this enabling effect of the private military industry may be its ultimate cost.The underlying premise of the Abrams Doctrine was that, if a military operation could not garner public support of the level needed to involve the full nation, then maybe it shouldn’t happen in the first place.(That it turned out to be such a perfectly round figure indicated that the estimate was actually what researchers call a “WAG,” short for “wild ass guess.”) In 2007, an internal Department of Defense census on the industry found almost 160,000 private contractors were employed in Iraq (roughly equal to the total U. What matters is not merely the numbers, but the roles that private military contractors play. They even helped operate combat systems such as the Army’s Patriot missile batteries and the Navy’s Aegis missile-defense system.Private military firms — ranging from well-established companies, such as Vinnell and MPRI, to start-ups, such as the British Aegis — have played an even greater role in the post-invasion occupation.
If we judge by what has happened in Iraq, when it comes to counterinsurgency and the use of private military contractors, the U. has locked its national security into a vicious cycle. military shifted to an all-volunteer professional force in the wake of the Vietnam War, military leaders set up a series of organization “trip wires” to preserve the tie between the nation’s foreign policy decisions and American communities. Creighton Abrams (1972-74), they wanted to ensure that the military would not go to war without the sufficient backing and involvement of the nation.
That debate over the ultimate costs of Iraq is one for historians to weigh now.
What is clear, however, is that the enabling effect of the military contractor industry is not simply in allowing the operation to occur, but also in how it reinforces our worst tendencies in war.
Plus, the generals could avoid the career risk of asking for more troops.
That is, there was no outcry whenever contractors were called up and deployed, or even killed.