Privatization of Military Capability Has Gone Too Far: A Response to Lindy Heinecken’s “Outsourcing Public Security: The Unforeseen Consequences for the Military Profession”
This article is a response to Lindy Heinecken’s “Outsourcing Public Security: The Unforeseen Consequences for the Military Profession.” Heinecken asks the question of whether privatization in our armed forces has gone too far. The position taken here is that it has. This article proceeds with a discussion of Heinecken’s work noting that much of the literature claiming the benefits of privatization is problematic and often fails to note obvious issues such as the externalization of costs, transaction costs, and contract oversight costs. These arguments are often conspicuously absent or ignored even when they are evident in the citations referenced and in some cases the literature supporting privatization comes dangerously close to circular referencing. Following this, a number of questions of increasingly broader perspective are posed that ask about and challenge readers to consider the consequences of the privatization assault on the public space and its consequences. While the text has endeavored to remain focused on military and security issues, a wider angle has been adopted in the endnotes.