Lucrius

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Everything posted by Lucrius

  1. Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, John White, stated: “The department is committed to ensuring future modernization, maintaining, and improving the quality of life of its forces . . . . To meet these pressing requirements, we must find more efficiencies and savings in our internal operations through outsourcing.” Because this quote holds true to this day, the following resolution must be affirmed: “The United States is justified in using private military firms abroad to pursue its military objectives.” In order to make this a more clearly defined essay, I offer the following definitions: Justified (from Black’s Law Dictionary)- a lawful or sufficient reason for ones act or omissions. Private Military Firms- Peter W. Singer defines 3 types of military firms in his book Corporate Warriors. Those operating closest to the fighting are military provider firms. Removed from direct action against an opponent but still providing planning or training support are military consulting firms. Farthest from the fighting are military support firms that provide logistical and other kinds of support. Military objectives- current military objectives abroad mainly consist of the War on Terror. The main theaters for this war are Iraq and Afghanistan. The necessary value for this essay is National Security. Walter Lippmann stated, "A nation has security when it does not have to sacrifice its legitimate interests to avoid war, and is able, if challenged, to maintain them by war." In this modern arena of warfare PMFs are essential in maintaining national security because PMFs are essential to the military complex. The appropriate value criterion for this essay is Cost/Benefit analysis. A cost/benefit analysis is done to determine how well, or how poorly, a planned action will turn out; it is mostly used in economics. The cost for using PMFs is much less than that of using convention military. The benefit of a lower cost is extremely agreeable. In a report the United States House Committee on Armed Services, James Wynn stated, “The employment of PSCs [PMFs] can provide the United States with access to capabilities that would otherwise be unavailable or “would [either] take an inordinate amount of time to develop internally, or . . . be prohibitively expensive to develop.” Contention one: PMFs are far more economic than conventional military. Doug Brooks, founder and president of the International Peace Operations Association trade association states, "Contractors are cost effective because the government doesn’t have to maintain standing forces, pay pensions, or provide benefits, to name just a few things that the public sector must do.” Also, cost savings stems from competition for US government contracts on the open market. Another source of savings comes from the hiring of already trained employees. The government doesn’t have to spend money on training those from PMFs. National Security is effectively upheld using PMFs and cost/benefit analysis favors the decision of invoking PMFs to pursue military interests abroad. Contention two: PMFs provide valuable skills to the United States Military. David Isenberg, the author of The Shadow Force states, “In the role of security operator, [PMFs] are able to bring a lifetime of training and experience to a specific job. Most of the actual security teams operating on the ground frequently are composed of former and retired senior non-commissioned officers. In contrast, a young Army soldier or Marine, recently graduated from his or her basic training and specialty school is just that: young and inexperienced.” The “valuable skills” argument also holds true in other areas of contracting besides combat—for example, high-tech weapon systems. According to Michael Guidry in the Air Force Journal of Logistics, the armed forces often lack the knowledge base to maintain or even operate these systems. For instance, Private Military Firms maintain the Apache and Blackhawk helicopters; a handful of developmental/operational test pilots and contractor pilots from Private Military Firms were the only personnel available to operate Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Iraq. Cost/benefit analysis of this talent weighs heavily upon using Private Military Firms to maintain national security in pursuing American military objectives abroad. Contention three: Private Military Firms are lawful. According to Mitchell McNaylor in the Yale Journal of International Affairs, Private Military Firms are bound by law, since they require the law of contract to operate. The United States, as a party to contracts, has a say in how those contracts are formed and executed, and in the fall of 2007, Congress added specific language to be included in contracts with contractors providing private security functions. The new contract clause requires contractors to comply with regulations, keep relevant records, keep track of weapons, register vehicles, and report incidents involving discharge of weapons, death, or injury. In addition, contracts now require that persons serving under the contract be made aware of the relevant laws governing their situation. Second, U.S. courts can acquire jurisdiction over American companies, where PMFs may be sued in court for alleged wrongs. Also, the War Crimes Act of 1996, amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, confers jurisdiction over U.S. citizens and members of the U.S. armed forces who commit war crimes. Under these given facts the justification of PMFs must be affirmed so that they may uphold national security as a cost/benefit analysis favors. In conclusion, Private Military firms have been proven to be the most effective and beneficial way to uphold national security. They are highly economic, provide valuable skills, and are lawful. In Gordon Campbell’s Contractors on the Battlefield he stated that, “The use of Private Military Firms to support military operations is no longer a “nice to have.” Their support is no longer an adjunct, ad hoc add-on to supplement a capability. PMF support is an essential, vital part of our force projection capability and increasing in its importance.”
  2. Violation of Free Speech

    This is the great thing about law. The Supreme Court can interpret the constitution any way that it wishes. The court has the power to redefine the First Amendment to include commercial speech. The court has changed its mind time and time again. At one point is said that separate but equal was constitutional and then it changed its mind. All that I am saying is that I think the court should protect these tobacco companies. The government is legislating morality on someone else's dollar and that is not justified.
  3. Violation of Free Speech

    Full Story Four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies sued the federal government Tuesday, saying the warnings violate their free speech rights. "Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products," the companies wrote in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington.
  4. Tax the Rich

    "While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks," wrote Buffett, who has mentioned in past interviews that the rich should pay higher taxes" Opinions please. Tax the Rich
  5. CPUSA chairman supports Comrade Obama's reelection bid

    My favorite line was when Glenn asked Sam how much he donates in charity each year and Sam gives some cop-out answer about donating 500 bucks so some communist newsletter. It is funny how Sam wants to take everything everyone else owns but keep all of his own wealth. Sounds like a typical communist.
  6. CPUSA chairman supports Comrade Obama's reelection bid

    Glenn Beck interviewed old Sam. Look here, it was funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxG98hNSDQI
  7. It was an old debate topic. I brought it up because I had been reading about some PMFs and foreign policy in Africa. I am not arguing to replace the entire standing army with PMFs. That would be insane. My thesis was that PMFs use is justified.
  8. PMFs do not provide the bulk of combat services. Combat still remains in the hands of the military itself. Basically, I ask why should you have a military man serve food, fix helicopters, wire circuits and do other things along those lines when he could be doing what he does best, fighting wars. Also, if one considers that the government doesn't have to provide a PMF employee with Veteran Administration benefits and GI bill privileges then it is considerably cheaper to hire a PMF. I cover some of this in the essay.
  9. There is a huge need for outsourcing. One of the main points is efficiency. Privatization is the key to reach efficiency. PMFs are far more efficient than the military itself in provided certain key skills to achieve foreign policy objectives. PMFs are also bound by law. However, even more than that they are bound by the law of contract. If they wish to receive contracts they will abided by the stipulations of the contract that the US government writes. The United States Military simply cannot operate without PMFs. The broader context of this essay is just to show favor for an already favorable entity.
  10. I would not compare PMFs to the mercenaries of the Roman Empire. First, the PMF market is owned almost solely by the United States company. They are not traders and certainly do not wish for the downfall of America. THis would mean a downfall of profit.
  11. Obama Vacation

    Obama on Vacation So should President Obama be vacationing next week in Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts, where the average home costs $650,000? Yes, says White House press secretary Jay Carney. Obama, like most Americans, needs down time to recharge his batteries for the battles ahead. And besides, he says, "The presidency travels with you.". Maybe not, say some academics, authors and political pundits. While Obama deserves a break, they say, this might not be the time, and Martha's Vineyard might not be the place. I personally think that if I was the president at a time like this I couldn't even enjoy a vacation with all the issues at hand.
  12. Another Greenspan nugget

    You don't even have to known anything about economics to understand how ridiculous that idea is. All that you would need is common sense. That is the kind of answer a 5 year old gives.
  13. Obama Vacation

    I am thankful for that much.
  14. Foreign Aid to Starving Children

    You make an incredibly valuable point. It has been called charity by Government officials so often that it has become second nature to use their terminology. It is theft and it is morally wrong.
  15. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/08/08/us-set-to-announce-100m-in-somalia-famine-funding/ " Hundreds of thousands of Somali children could die in East Africa's famine unless more help arrives, a top U.S. official warned Monday in the starkest death toll prediction yet. 'One of the reasons to be here is just to ask Americans and people worldwide, the global community, the human family, if they could just reach a little deeper into their pockets and give money to help these poor people, these poor mothers and children,' said Biden, who met with two Somali mothers and their eight children." The Objectivist opinion on giving foreign aid?
  16. Foreign Aid to Starving Children

    Therefore, I must deem this charity to be wrong. I am not choosing to throw my money into the hell hole known as Africa. The government is taking my money (all of our money) and is then choosing where it wants to give it as charity. These African nations are not necessary even deserving. If anything this money being spend on these nations should be put on the chopping block and labeled "spending cuts." I don't understand why America has to feed the world and everyone else gets to criticize us for our debt. If you ask me this is all poor economic and political policy on part of the American government.
  17. Speech from Obama about AA+

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/...e.cnn?hpt=hp_t1 He kept talking about how people still view our markets as a AAA rated country. However, stocks have gone through the floor. Does this make sense?
  18. This is very disturbing. If a Human Rights group has become involved then it must be a common occurrence. My personal thoughts: Though I believe it was unwise to become pregnant while having HIV I cannot simply condone this kind of treatment. For one, you cannot know the circumstances around each women's pregnancy. Second, what does harming the mother accomplish? You merely degrade yourself as a human being and you harm the child.
  19. Speech from Obama about AA+

    You make a very convincing argument. I think taxation has gone to far. I have to purchase tags for my car in my state. I pay a rather large sum of money for two stickers for my license plates. If I do not buy the stickers I will be charged even more money for breaking the law. I have never thought this kind of taxation is moral. Taxation is everywhere and most people don't realize just how much money they give to the government. If I turn 40 and receive a check for 3/4 of all the taxes I have pain in my life I would have enough money to start a small business.
  20. Speech from Obama about AA+

    That was a very interesting article. So, if I may ask, what is your personal opinion on the matter of tax increase? I understand how raising taxes can harm production (classical Reaganomics) Yet, I can understand the issue that will come if Washington cuts entitlement programs. The political backlash could be extreme when one considers that there are more people who benefit from entitlement programs than there are wealthy people who would get taxed.
  21. I would like this community’s opinion from an Objectivist point of view. I shall state the facts and nothing but the facts. My team won first in the state debate tournament and we all received rings for our state championship victory. Everyone who made it to states competed and won points for the whole team. Points that earned us the title of State Champions. However, there was one girl who dropped out of the competition before regional debate. This girl did not compete at the state level and did not help earn the title. Yet, she received a ring out of pity. I feel that she does not deserve the ring. Any thoughts?
  22. Downgrade Imminent?

    I see your point. One thing that I do believe is that this whole issue of S&P's downgrading will be a factor in the coming up election. In my opinion, we need a Reagan. I simply do not see a strong leader out of any party that could lead this nation to an economic miracle like Reagan. This worries me.
  23. Downgrade Imminent?

    It has happened and apparently the White House and Treasury are saying that S&P's analysis is way off. This may be true, or it may be false. It is most certainly a bias source. However, the fact is that I am rather afraid of what may happen to student loan rates. That is where I will most be affected.
  24. Should she get a State Ring?

    Both of you are extremely wise and helpful. I shall also say that I have made a lot of enemies by standing up for my values. This is to be expected. Yet, I wouldn’t want friends based on a false perception of justice. On Facebook I had an individual (a friend of the girl who freeloaded) literally attack me with his words. He attacked me on a personal level. He didn’t discuss the issue at hand. He merely stated that she deserved the ring and I was an ass for saying otherwise. His entire argument was grounded in the logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem. He attacked me for being a Darwinian and an Atheist. Both completely unrelated to the issue that I brought up. Another person joined in and attacked me for not being a ‘team player.’ That person also attacked debates itself. On top of that he put down my academic pursuits of being a History professor. I blocked both of these individuals. My action of blocking them was perceived as a victory by the faction that opposed my opinions. I was told later that one of them made a status that said, “I defeated the great state champion and I am only a novice.” At first I was mad. However, I began to think about it and looked at my personal philosophy. If there is one thing that I have learned for Ayn Rand it is that you cannot argue with someone who is not rational. I told myself that I shouldn’t listen to an argument that says looting is justice and hard work is a crime. Arguing with these people merely gives them a sense of legitimacy. You are correct when you say it isn’t that important in context. My achievements are what is important and that is all that will be important. I have learned that.
  25. Should she get a State Ring?

    I'll keep this in my mind and heart. "Justice in acknowledgment from others is desirable but that others' recognition of your accomplishment, whether it comes or not, is secondary to what you are and actually accomplish." Thank You.