What Counts as News, and What Counts as Important

This will be a one-day story: Report: U.S. Has Wasted Tens Of Billions Of Dollars On Contractors In Iraq And Afghanistan.

A new report from a bipartisan commission set up to scrutinize the unprecedented use of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan concludes that the United States has wasted tens of billions of the nearly $177 billion that has been spent on those contracts and grants since 2002.

The report, titled “At What Risk? Correcting Over-reliance on Contractors in Contingency Operations,” said its estimate may even understate the problem because it may not take into full account ill-conceived projects, poor planning and oversight by the U.S. government, as well as criminal behavior and blatant corruption by both government and contractor employees.

“For many years,” the report says, “the government has abdicated its contracting responsibilities – too often using contractors as the default mechanism … without consideration for the resources needed to manage them.”

But the political rhetoric will continue to be about reducing the number of government workers, instead of the logical thing, which would be to increase them in order to reduce (note that I did not say “prevent”) this sort of ripoff.

Not invading foreign countries also helps.

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