Edwards on Contractors

Later today, John Edwards is going to be speaking in Portsmouth where he will, among other things, say "We clearly need fundamental reform of our system for providing security contractors in Iraq and other places" and present a plan for doing so based on the classic five bullet-point model:

  • Establishing Strong Quality Control and Accountability Measures
  • Implementing a Formal Evaluation of the Role of Contractors
  • Removing Cronyism out of Security Contracts
  • Expanding Legal Oversight and Prosecutions
  • Reestablishing a Democratic Military

As best I understand this admittedly somewhat vague preview I've been given, this actually turns out to be a surprisingly measured policy -- a "mend it, don't end it" -- approach to the contractor abuse issue. That may well be correct, though it seems to me that part of mending it ought to be some actual reduction in the scale on which contractors are used. Maybe that's what "reestablishing a democratic military" means, though.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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