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Why does the military use private contractor soldiers/security?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by bwphoto, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. bwphoto

    bwphoto Lifetime Member

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    Discussing topics involving the Middle East and I only have a vague understanding of why we don't use regular soldiers for "soldier" jobs. Is it because we can't afford to have everyone that serves getting paid what those guys make?

    I can understand the financial argument. If I knew what it took to be an effective soldier, maybe I simply wouldn't do it for an Army salary but I would for a private contractor salary. So that's how they deal with shortfalls in recruiting.

    Or maybe it has to do with political / legal issues ie. "The U.S. military was never involved in ....." however, privately contracted soldiers were.

    Thanks-
     
  2. metrogruntual

    metrogruntual o__O

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    they cost less than soldiers
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010

  3. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin

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    As a soldier your base pay is only a small portion of your actual benefits. You have housing, food, clothing, medical, etc.

    With private security the government gets off cheaper.

    In recent years this policy has been extremely abused though. To the point of weakening our military and our reputation due to lack of oversight. The cost has also risen to a level now where it does not really save any money. It just changes the pockets it goes into from soldiers to CEO's.
     
  4. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    While I understand your question, I don't have the absolute knowledge required to answer it properly. But having served in the military and that part of the world I can offer a few guesses.

    Most of the time, we use contracted labor for many jobs because we don't want to "take away" soldiers from their assigned duties. They posses the same skills but they're assigned to units that count on those soldiers to do their jobs with that unit as a whole. And many times, it's just a way to employ those "extra" soldiers from the local economy....thereby circulating the money they make back into the local area. When I had anything to do with such goings on, and it's been a while, they were paid in the local currency....just so that it would be circulated back into the local economy, which would not be the case if they were American soldiers paid in US currency.

    If offers a way to infuse money into the local economy, it allows the local population to not view US troops as the end all be all of protection, it allows much needed training to proceed..........and it gives the local soldiers some usually much needed "lift" in their view of their own capabilities seeing their own men given such duties.







    Sorry, I'm more than a bit under the weather today, and that may not be the best explanation of what I intended to say. Hope you understand it though. If not, just lump it in with the rest of the garbage. Hopefully someone who's involved in that sort of thing now will give you a better answer.
     
  5. CarlosC

    CarlosC AK Fanatic

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    I don't think they cost less than soldiers, although that really depends. I attached my prepositioning project, while I was in the military, to an existing contract in the Middle East. The contract was big money, but I realized that few people actually made the big bucks. Basically, the contractor hired a few Westerners to manage the project and they got paid very well, much more than any GI. They then went out and hired a bunch of Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, and other TCNs to do the manual work for peanuts. So, yes and no.

    There was one main reason my base had so many contractors performing GI jobs. The military had been trimmed so much that deploying the military members meant there were not enough left at home to perform the duties. By hiring contractors, the military had a stable force of "temps" at home and could deploy the GIs.

    There just aren't as many GIs as there used to be and there are more deployments.
     
  6. metrogruntual

    metrogruntual o__O

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    I've heard deploying a soldier costs nearly $1M/year.

    Add to this healthcare, housing, retirement benefits and all of the other active duty perks and you can see paying a contractor 100K to do something that a 30K soldier could do is a great deal.
     
  7. eyelikeglasses

    eyelikeglasses Hooah, Hooah.

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    Not enough soldiers to go around.
     
  8. glock19_fan

    glock19_fan ... --- ...

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    Flexibility. Contractors offer flexibility. Same reason many companies pay for contractors, even though their hourly rates may cost 10 times as much as an employee.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  9. CarlosC

    CarlosC AK Fanatic

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    Where did you hear that? That would mean it would cost $120 billion/year just to deploy the troops. The $1 million may be the total cost of the war divided by the number of troops.
     
  10. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    They do? Do you know what those guys are getting paid to do what we do, alongside us? A whole lot more than we get paid.
     
  11. metrogruntual

    metrogruntual o__O

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    "..the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per soldier a year, appears almost constant...."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/us/politics/15cost.html

    "Dov Zakheim, a former chief financial officer for the Defense Department, says the $1 million price tag includes getting the soldier to Afghanistan, getting his equipment to Afghanistan, and moving the soldier around once in the country."

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114294746
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  12. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    The soldier gets paid for all of those things whether he is deployed or not. In fact, depending on the soldier's situation (married, on/off post, etc.) he may cost more in the US than deployed. Most of the contractors are not the low end $50K a year security. Most of the ones I've seen are the $120K+ retired colonels and sergeants major who work for MPRI. We had guys making twice what a soldier makes whose only job was to score targets and adjust sights on a rifle range - others who did the paperwork than Army officers and admin soldiers routinely did....for some reason?
     
  13. arclight610

    arclight610

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    Often time PMCs can do things soldiers and Marines can't. You know... things that we don't want on our hands or have the jurisdiction for.
     
  14. metrogruntual

    metrogruntual o__O

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    They get paid much more and cost much less than a servicemember.
     
  15. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    The $1 mil per soldier doesn't mean that's what we pay for a deployed soldier. I expect it means the war costs X, divided by the number of soldiers = $1 mil. So the cost of everything from bombs, to the money, weapons and equipment we give the Afghans, to jet fighters, helicopters, construction projects, etc. costs $1,000,000 times the number of soldiers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  16. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    You realize that, on top of their pay, we also give them all of the housing, food, medical, etc. that we give the soldiers, right?
     
  17. metrogruntual

    metrogruntual o__O

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    Do they get that both before and after deployment?

    Are they working on a federal retirement?

    Do contractor families back home get benefits?

    Do they get Student Loan Repayment, the GI bill and tuition assistance?
     
  18. Marine8541

    Marine8541 iseedeadpeople

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    It's cheaper and faster, no other reason. From what I saw in Iraq it usually wasn't better either.
     
  19. Jon_R

    Jon_R

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    IMO

    After the Soviet Union crumbled congress demanded a peace dividend and the US military started having a draw down of forces. They focused on the head count of the people in uniform. Problem is the activity of the military did not lessen. In some ways it is easier to keep one Super Power with something to loose in check then a lot of little players that may or may not care about getting wiped out as long as they go out with a bang.

    You also have the Super Power keeping the countries he controls in check sort of like parents or a big brother over these other small countries. When big brother ran out of money / control these groups do what they want. See Afghan rebels the US loosely controlled after we helped them defeat the Soviets. We wished them luck and headed home and they did what they wanted without any further influence / control from us.

    In order to keep the number of uniformed military personnel smaller we out source stuff. It could be a slot for a cook in Iraq, it could be a personal protection detail for an ambassador in Afghanistan, or it could be delivering tasty cakes to a air base in Iraq.

    Add to this competition between the US branches to give up no more then the other branches and it can really get out of wack. Maybe we should have drawn down our ICBMs, SAC Bombers, and Ballistic Missile Subs more and our Marines and Army Infantry Less or Increased it.

    YMMV
     
  20. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker License to Il

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    As a taxpayer I find that very offensive.