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Private Contractors Assume "Troubling Role" in Iraq War, Prof. Kevin Howley Writes

October 3, 2004

October 3, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - "In Afghanistan, Iraq and other fronts in the 'war on terrorism' mercenary forces and other private military contractors have assumed a troubling role in crafting, implementing and realizing U.S. defense policy," writes Kevin Howley, assistant professor of communication, in today's edition of Indiana's Bloomington Alternative.

In the editorial, Dr. Howley refers to "DePauw Discourse 2004: Issues for America," and the September 16-17 presentations by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III and 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton '52. "Addressing DePauw undergraduates directly, both Bremer and Hamilton argued that today's college students face a 'generational challenge' akin to that confronting the post-WW II generation."

Howley continues, "In contemplating our future... we must carefully consider the wisdom of outsourcing military services to unregulated, and largely unaccountable private contractors and paramilitary organizations. We Bremer-u.jpgmust ask ourselves what is at stake when our nation's military grows less responsive to civilian authority charged with defending the American people and grows increasingly dependent on private firms interested in maximizing profits."

The professor concludes, "Having alerted students that they face the prospect of a perpetual state of war and occupation, the challenge Mr. Bremer and Mr. Hamilton allude to may boil down to this generation's response to the following question. How best can America leverage its unrivaled military might? In the protection and defense of the nation and its people, or as the Bush Administration would have it, in a ruthless, costly and decided anti-democratic effort to extend American empire?"

Read the complete essay by clicking here.

Access stories -- complete with video, audio and photos -- on Ambassador Bremer's Ubben Lecture at DePauw here, and Lee Hamilton's presentation here.

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