Outsourcing and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT): Contractors on the Battlefield   [open pdf - 627KB]

"Current Department of Defense (DOD) policy stresses the practicality of outsourcing non-direct warfare functions such as logistics, maintenance, transportation, and security. Inherently, this policy assumes that by outsourcing these functions the military's reliability, effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility are improved. However, outsourcing has not historically produced all of these effects, and in times of war or crisis, many functions previously outsourced were either placed back under direct military control or transferred to uniformed personnel. Like previous military conflicts in our history, the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) shows that many of these historical problems, such as overcharging and poor/unreliable services by contractors, are still relevant today. This monograph examines outsourcing policies in relation to GWOT. It also traces the U.S military's past utilization of battlefield contractors starting from the American Revolution to the present in order to develop trends and lessons learned. A historical model is developed which is then applied to the current utilization of contractors to help predict future issues. An assessment of DOD's outsourcing policy in GWOT is also made using the following evaluation criteria: reliability, effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. Lastly, the monograph makes several recommendations on how to improve DOD's outsourcing policies and doctrine."

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