Privatize this

Rightwing government haters would like to privatize everything from schools and highways to wars and elections. And much to my surprise, I'm finally coming around to agreeing with them. In fact, I hope they'll go so far as to privatize international diplomacy. It's hard to imagine any organization doing a worse job than the Republicans currently running this country. The truth is, they somehow manage to piss off the rest of the world everytime they open their lyin' mouths.


I'm heading out for a couple of days

to pick up my wonderful daughter from camp, so thanks for holding down the fort.

Happy Friday to you all, and thanks for taking time in your busy lives to share your thoughts here at BlueNC.

Saving Private Ruin

A lot of foreign policy is already privatized through contracts with entities like Rand, Kroll, RTI, DynCorp and, Creative Associates International

Anybody specifically interested in Iraq reconstruction and security contracts can peruse this Iraq Supplier website or read this recent GAO Report

REBUILDING IRAQ: Actions Still Needed to Improve the Use of Private Security Providers

What GAO Found

Coordination between the U.S. military and private security providers still needs improvement. First, private security providers continue to enter the battle space without coordinating with the U.S. military, putting both the military and security providers at a greater risk for injury. Second, U.S. military units are not trained, prior to deployment, on the operating procedures of private security providers in Iraq and the role of the Reconstruction Operations Center, which is to coordinate military-provider interactions. While DOD agreed with our prior recommendation to establish a predeployment training program to help address the coordination issue, no action has been taken.

Many private security providers and DOD have difficulty completing comprehensive criminal background screenings for U.S. and foreign nationals when data are missing or inaccessible. For example, a DOD policy requires biometric screening of most non-U.S. private security providers accessing U.S. bases in Iraq. Biometric screening (e.g., fingerprints and iris scans) measures a person’s unique physical characteristics. Biometric screening is not as effective as it could be because the databases used to screen contractor employees include limited international data. Based on its work to date, GAO believes that incomplete criminal background screening may contribute to an increased risk to military forces and civilians in Iraq, and the military would benefit by reviewing the base security measures to ensure that the risk private security contractors may pose has been minimized. A report on screening will be issued in Fall 2006.