This is July 2nd, eight days ago out in Colorado Springs. Obama is speaking to the editorial board of the Military Times. There’s no teleprompter out there and no little wireless mike from campaign headquarters telling him what to say. The editor here says, “The size of our military has really been built on the military’s ability to be effective. It’s built very heavily on National Guard, very heavily on private contractors to provide everything from food service to aircraft service and gun-toting security. What are the proper rules for those different pieces and how should that change?”
OBAMA: When it comes to private contractors, there is room for private contractors working a mess hall, you know, providing basic supplies and — and doing some, uh, logistical work that might have been done in house in the past. I am troubled by the use of private contractors when it comes to, uh, potential armed engagement. I think it puts our troops at harm’s way, I think it creates some difficult morale issues when you’ve got private contractors who are getting paid ten times what an Army private is getting paid for work that is as risk — carries similar risk, when it comes to our Special Forces, what we’ve seen as a potential drain of — of our — some of our best trained Special Forces, and you can’t blame them if they can make so much more working for Blackwater than they can working as, uh, as a master sergeant. So the — you know, that, I think, is — that, I think, is a problem.
So then the unidentified editor says, “Well, Blackwater would argue that they’re a bargain, that you get a higher level of ability, they can put people there. They can keep top level talent there perpetually.”
OBAMA: I’m not arguing that there are never going to be uses for private contractors in some circumstances. What I am saying is if you start building a military premised on the use of private contractors, and you start making decisions about armed engaged based on the availability of private contractors to fill holes in gaps, that over time you are, I believe, eroding the core of our military’s relationship to the nation and how accountability is structured.
OBAMA: You are privatizing something that is what essentially sets a nation state apart, which is the monopoly on — on violence, uh, and to set those kinds of precedents I think will lead us over the long term into, uh, some troubled waters.
When you strip out the higher echelon Combat Service Support units from the force structure, as was done to the Army during the Clinton administration, and you find out to your embarrassment that you can’t even logistically support the deployment of one Attack Aviation Task Force from central Europe to southeastern Europe without the assistance of Logistics Civilan Augmentees, you end up going to war with the Army you have left and contract out the rest. The armed Personal Security Detail contractors don’t engage in offensive operations. They try hard to avoid getting shot at, return fire as hard as they can when they do get shot at, and run like hell as fast as they can to get away from the people shooting at them. And if their job is to escort you they probably won’t be pulled off in the middle of the trip to attend to a higher priority mission, leaving you on your own.
General Odierno wouldn’t give The Messiah a detail of all PV2’s, would he?