The U.S. government’s insatiable appetite for defense from contractors has strangled the budget. The growth has increased defense’s reach without increased efficency.

A few noxious numbers

$42 billion

The cost of U.S. spying and surveillance activities outsourced to contractors — or 70 percent of the $60 billion the government spends on foreign and domestic intelligence.

With the majority of the defense spending in this regard going toward outsiders, the U.S. government is committed to their services regardless of whether there is a war to fight. No war; no pay. Therefore, this relationship could serve as Exhibit A in the “military-industrial complex” argument.


The number of new intelligence contracting businesses under the NSA from 2001 to 2006.

From Homeland Security to the Patriot Act, the U.S. government has taken 9/11 as the unhinged reason to exponentially increase the size of defense. Their argument — and a huge pet peeve of mine — “Freedom isn’t free.” (What?)

90 percent

The amount of intelligence gathered that is discarded because the NSA was unable to analyze the amount of information it was collecting.

5 percent

The amount of intelligence that is disseminated and routed to the right division for analysis.

U.S. defense and its cronies have become such a large and cumbersome entity that it dominates the budget and policy — without results that merit the amount spent.

According to Italian fascism philospher Giovanni Gentile, capitalism should be more appropriately be called “corporatism” because it was a merger of state and corporate power.

The marriage between U.S. defense and contractors serves as a prime example to Gentile’s idea.


(Statistics from Tim Shorrock’s book “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.”)


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