Page 21 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
FEBRUARY 2013
21
THE HIDDENCOSTS OF
OUTSOURCING
DIPLOMACY AND
DEVELOPMENT
FOCUS
OUTSOURCING
Outsourcing broad aspects of State
and USAID’s engagement with the
world has become the new normal.
But should it be?
BY AL L I SON STANGER
T
he United States has now spent around two
trillion dollars on an 11-year-long war on ter-
ror. It is tempting to believe we can eliminate
additional losses by simply declaring it over,
but the costs of pursuing wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan have not just been fnancial.
To pursue those missions, American diplomacy and devel-
opment functions have been outsourced in unprecedented ways
over the past decade. In using the term “outsourcing,”
I refer to the increased reliance on contracts and grants to do the
work of government, which correlates with a higher percentage
of contractors in the State Department’s total work force.
Outsourcing involves the transfer of jobs from the public
to the private sector, where the work may be done by corpora-
tions, nonproft organizations or hybrid entities. Te unin-
tended consequences of that policy shift will pose challenges
for the civilian side of foreign policy long after the last soldier
has come home.