Monday, September 28, 2009

A Secure Outcome

Security, is it truly obtainable? Or is it merely the illusion of protection provided by a fragile bloated bureaucratic system on the verge of collapse? There are those who would attempt to argue that our own personal security may not be obtained through military measures on massive international scales, rather on our home front in a more privatized individualistic fashion. How can we truly secure the American populace while at the same time not alienating ourselves from the world around us?

Security is necessary in a world of constant change and upheaval. One must look for protection from a multitude of sources, whether they are international or domestic, physical or financial, we all seek shelter from something, this need for shelter and protection thus necessitates a body able to give such support and care. The ability to provide such protection from physical harm relies on our country’s armed forces and their diligence in protecting the citizens which look to them for assistance. Yet in providing this protection from physical harm are they unintentionally embroiling our country in a fiscal debacle that could leave our generation finically unstable for generations to come? War is expensive, as it has always been, yet many times war is accompanied by an increased need for goods and services, to be provided by the national populace, yet in the case of our most recent military conflicts, none required massive arms build ups or increased production of goods. It seems we have continued with our business of war while letting its perceived products fall by the way side. What good is a war if not to bolster our economy and strengthen our national industries? Should a war not unify the country behind one common purpose or goal? Or should it merely fracture it into differing political and ideological groups all bent on their own agenda? Have we not already de personalized and striped war of its fiscal benefits? Leaving nothing more than the dry shell of democratic freedom behind as the resounding reason for war?

If we are bent on continuing a policy of military conflict we must go about it in a manner conducive to a changing market. We must open the door for private groups to offer their services for a modest price, competing with other such groups, driven by the market mentality to offer the best service at the most reasonable price. If people cry for smaller government and smaller military intervention let us give it to them in the form of a small specialized, privatized industry. Let us offer security to the polis through the privatization of armies driven by the market!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Efficiency and the Military

Efficiency and the military have always seemed to be at odds with each other. Whether due to increased troop deployments or unspecified time frames, it seems that our military has not always been the model for efficiency, if efficiency is measured in regards to using the given input for the most output, and that output being something positive.

In regards to my specific issue of contracting out our military needs to private companies in order to achieve both an efficient cost and resulting outcome several aspects must be taken into consideration. First the outcome must be deemed fiscally efficient as well logistically efficient. By this I mean if we can pay a private highly trained fighting force to liberate a small terrorist compound for 10 million dollars when it would cost us no less than 15 million in logistics, troop transfers and other odds and ends needed to insert a specialized force into a hostile area, with the end result being the same in both situations, then it would be fiscally efficient to use the private security over our own. Second we would need to prove that not only is the private method fiscally and logistically effect but morally as well, for when dealing with any military situation public support always seems to hinge on an emotional undertone, such as discerning what is morally acceptable. For this reason one would have to show that even though the company was a private organization they would still be subject to all the rules and regulations which national military forces must abide by, that way lessoning humanitarian concerns and clearing the way for an unobstructed private military excursion.

The driving force behind this privatization and outsourcing of military operations would need to be a happy combination of both the market and the polis. The market through competition would drive the cost of the operations down due to outbidding by companies. While the public exposure and successful PR spin would allow the polis to feel substantially involved in that any private operation would still be under the oversight of the national government, which should be in the simplest terms, an extension of the polis. Therefore through the successful manipulation of both the market and polis could one successfully outsource military operations to private companies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can there really be an equitable outcome for all?

War has always been quick to spark massive and often heated debates in those forums unlucky enough to be chosen for the topic. It seems that humanity has always been slow to discuss the uglier side of its animalistic nature, especially when we couple this nature with fierce competition for natural resources dwindling in the world community, as well as the need to maintain both military and economic superiority. We then create for ourselves the picture of a fractured world dependent upon military prowess as a last line of defense to protect the rights and goals of every private world power in and around those areas precious to them. yet now we find that often those forces upon which we rely to further our own agendas may be lacking in efficiency due to massive government oversight, and the inability to mobilize merely due to the momentous task of coordinating a military campaign. In theory then could we not privatize these military forces in an effort to cut down on government spending, while at the same time increasing efficiency by decreasing unnecessary involvement from unneeded sources? Such as congressional oversight committees and U.N. International protocols? It seems that privatization is the red headed step child of this era, with such subjects as government run health care for all and having now our national economy closely tied to government owned industries, few see this as a time to push for the privatization of anything, let alone defense. Yet let us ponder for a moment what the privatization of defense may do for our country. Certainly it would lesson the strain on our already taxed administration, for instead of spending countless hours and dollars on the allocation of man powers as well as the time spent on logistics alone, we could instead pay one lump sum to a private company and allow them to spear head the operation, streamlining the process while freeing up national resources for more pressing matters closer to home. we may also solve the pressing issue protecting our civilians at the cost of numerous American lives. no longer would we deal with the public outcry for our soldiers to return home to avoid heavy causalities, for these would not be "our soldiers" we would de-personalize war, making it far more acceptable to the American public. so lets recap here, in the most broad sense, the privatization of war would take the strain off government agencies, decrease our costs in the long run, fast track armed conflicts and provide for a way in which to lesson casualties taken by American service men and women. why would this not be an equitable outcome for all? wars continue, the safety of the country is preserved, while at the same time our own troops are not killed in battle? we can have our cake and eat it too!!
yet on the other side of this argument we have that nagging question of accountability. if we are selling the rights to protect our country tot he lowest bidder what type of quality are we getting for our money? with our own armed forces we are able to provide a military service with a regimented structure of oversight as well as a strong code of engagement, right? the outsourcing of military support can do nothing but degrade the and infringe upon the established moral code by which our military functions, how could know that these private forces would not be violating national and international human rights in every conflict that they were deployed? the lack of national oversight would be far to great a risk to take in order to create a fighting force which is both cost effective and tactically efficient!!
Can an equitable outcome be found? who is int he right? what is fair....? Should the market dictate our actions, causing us to outsource tot he lowest bidder? or should the polis win, with their calls for international human rights and the continued stringent oversight of all military endeavors? Is their a fair and equitable answer? or will the political system merely repeat itself and move to support the cause with the largest amount of support? whether that support be the public outcry for human rights, or the financial backing of powerful companies such as Blackwater and other privatized military, or security forces..... we must wait and see.