Monday, July 14, 2008

Dogs of War: The founding contractors - UPI.com

Dogs of War: The founding contractors - UPI.com: "According to the U.S. Merchant Marine, during the six years of the American Revolution, the Continental Navy consisted of only 64 ships. The Continental Navy had an arsenal of 1,246 guns aboard its boats and ships; the privateers had 14,872. The Continental Navy captured 196 enemy ships compared to the privateers' 2,283.

If current private military firms had a record like that, nobody would ever question their claims of cost effectiveness. Indeed, their actions were so vital to the creation of the country that private contractors are even referenced in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which concerns the right of Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal to attack enemy shipping. Today's private military firms can only look enviously at testimonials like that.

This wartime privateering was essentially a conflict between business and morality, and has been central to the way America thinks about military and war issues since the country's beginnings."

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