Small Wars Journal

Video: Erik Prince Lecture at the Oxford Union

Sat, 05/13/2017 - 4:13pm

Erik Prince Lecture at the Oxford Union


Outlaw 09

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:38pm

In reply to by Warlock

Ahem....Let's not even mention the fact that while the contracting companies give the contractor the feeling that he is a full time employee of their company...he is just basically a temp worker until the contract ends or suddenly is terminated with a new government bid trying to lower the costs and then suddenly that valued employee is let go with the statement we did not win the contract....then see just how much of a valued employee you are.....

The original argument was that of the military had to pay service members... it would then cost them retirement pay, medical coverage, family support, extra PX exchanges and other related costs but that is really not the simply came in because the needed say military or government headcount was not enough to do the the days of the draft military there were simply no contractors....

So in reality at least for military contractors became defacto military service members that the military could expand and reduce as needed...


Thu, 05/18/2017 - 4:06pm

In reply to by Bill M.

I've been listening to the fiction that contractors are a hands-down cost-effective solution my entire professional life, both while in uniform and as a contractor myself. Talent and skill costs what talent and skill costs. I've seen the results of cost-cutting knife fights within service contracts -- what you end up with are a few seasoned folks willing to suck up lower compensation for a short time for personal reasons, and a larger number with lesser experience and skill who leave for greener pastures as soon as they're able. That's been true across technical and operational disciplines. The contracting officers and the budget folks look good, and someone in Congress is happy about contract money flowing into their district, but for long term requirements, there's no savings across comparable results...less money means inferior results.

Outlaw 09

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 4:05am

In reply to by Bill M.

Prince has other problems that he needs to attend to..namely he is under FBI CI investigation for his attempts to build a Russian back channel for Trump...he was in the WH the day that McMaster was trying to deflect the Trump security violation issues......and there is also a money laundering inquiry as well.

AND this presence was not noted by the WH...

I listened to the video, and he makes the same points other military contractors have made on the utility and cost savings associated with using contractors to pursue some government security objectives. No issues with most of his claims. He suggested listeners watch the YouTube video on the Somalia Project as an example of the great work contractors / mercenaries are doing. I paid for it and watched it, and I think Eric would have done himself a favor if he didn't recommend it. It is mostly narrated by a former Special Forces LTC who is a little too in love with himself and melodramatic. I studied war my whole life, bla, bla, and now I'm going to Somalia to see the new way of war to gain a better understanding of how it is waged. Unfortunately, the so called war was a few contractors training a Somali force to conduct counter-piracy operations (target them on land principally). The contractors had six weeks I believe to train a bunch of conscripts, so you get you get what you get. Watching them on a couple of operations it was a complete cluster, although not much different than you would see if you employed American recruits after six weeks of training. A far cry from the professional results I saw MPRI produce in Africa and the Balkans. A further cry from the African forces trained by Special Forces. This gets to my point on other posts about the State Department desiring to maintain the lead for training security forces. The problem is they have to default to contractors of mixed professional and have limited capacity to provide oversight. Contractors will always be part of the battlefield, and they will always provide cost effective and politically acceptable options to the government to address some problems. But they will not replace a professional military.