Friday, August 08, 2003

Privitization: If it works for the Army, it'll work for the rest of the federal (and state and local) government(s) too

This nugget was mined from Suburban Guerrilla:

More on outsourcing - this time, in Iraq - with disastrous results.
U.S. troops in Iraq suffered through months of unnecessarily poor living conditions because some civilian contractors hired by the Army for logistics support failed to show up, Army officers said.

Months after American combat troops settled into occupation duty, they were camped out in primitive, dust-blown shelters without windows or air conditioning. The Army has invested heavily in modular barracks, showers, bathroom facilities and field kitchens, but troops in Iraq were using ramshackle plywood latrines and living without fresh food or regular access to showers and telephones.

Even mail delivery -- also managed by civilian contractors -- fell weeks behind.

Though conditions have improved, the problems raise new concerns about the Pentagon's growing global reliance on defense contractors for everything from laundry service to combat training and aircraft maintenance. Civilians help operate Navy Aegis cruisers and Global Hawk, the high-tech robot spy plane.