Originally Posted by 11Series
(PS -- If you don't understand that jobs once held by US soldiers are being outsourced to foreigners, and if you don't know about all the anti-soldier Republican policies, take a bit of time to learn what you don't know before responding)
Being as how it's Labor Day and I'm feeling generous I have to say some of what you say approximates truth. Of course, given my career military background and my post-retirement work in the military-industrial complex as a government contractor, I may know just a teenie weenie bit about the subject. So, my "learning curve" is pretty much completed but thanks for the coaching.
Government contractors do perform a moderate amount of jobs that may have been formerly accomplished by soldiers. They also perform a wide range of activities that soldiers have never done. Much of this is due to the fact that soldiers are way more expensive than contractors. Every soldier comes with a "tail"-the cost of his training, his care and feeding, his healthcare, housing, retirement, etc. A contractor comes with none of that--he costs the market price for his labor. There's another dimension to this and that is the cap on size of the uniformed force. There are defined numbers of soldiers needed to perform the mission at hand. In today's army you need more tooth than tail and the size can't be exceeded. Therefore, contractors are the best, most cost-effective way to do a lot of missions (higher echelon maintenance, food preparation, transportation outside of war zone, etc.) that have to be done but soldiers are not the right answer. Now the reason there are foreign nationals being used (overseas only) is budgetary in nature. The military has X amount to spend and hiring a local national in Afghanistan to do the scut work, at wages an ex-pat American won't accept just makes good business sense. Besides, there are plenty of jobs downrange that remain unfilled that Americans can have if they want them.