Business, Finance & Economics

Outsourcing U.S. intelligence

TS found out that 70% of the US intelligence budget now goes to pay private intelligence agencies. (You make your case that there are a wide array of historically government jobs that are now performed by outside contractors, what kind of work is this?) Running covert operations overseas, running CIA agents out of foreign embassies, a great deal of intelligence analysis, interrogation of detainees. (Is this an issue of money or access?) This goes back to the 1990s when intelligence budgets were cut after the Cold War and for good reason. Budgets were cut by about 30% and personnel by 30% as well. Many who did leave went into private sectors. Then at the end of the 90s, the need for intelligence analysis stepped up and those people had gone to the private sector. (Are they doing the job differently or do they just want to make more money, as they can in the private sector?) I think a lot of questions are raised by this: I think there's a conflict of interest when these private companies are analyzing future trends because they have such a stake in these agencies. That kind of study should only be done by government. (What are the other problems?) Corporations answer to share holders, so they have loyalty to them and the country with which they're working for, and those loyalties can be conflicting sometimes. Congress is finally starting to look at setting up limits on these issues.

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