June 07, 2010

Contracting In Conflicts: The Path to Reform

In both Iraq and Afghanistan today there are more private contractors than U.S. troops on the ground. This exploding reliance on contractors costs U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars and has grown with inadequate government oversight. This report - authored by Richard Fontaine and John Nagl - details the urgent need for comprehensive reform. The United States must embark on a path of ambitious reform that will require: new laws and regulations; an expansion of the government’s contracting workforce; a coordination mechanism within the executive branch; greater scrutiny, more transparency and clearer standards for private contractors; a strategic view of the roles contractors play in American operations; and a change in culture within the government.


  • John A. Nagl

    Member, CNAS Board of Advisors, Associate Professor of Warfighting Studies at U.S. Army War College

    Dr. John Nagl is the ninth Headmaster of The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania and a member of the Board of Advisors at the Center for a New American Security. He wa...

  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...

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