Last week, the Council was joined by Allison Stanger, author of the newly published One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy. Stanger believes that the United States is addicted to contractors which has dangerous implications for the country and the world. Calling outsourcing a “non-partisan issue,” Stanger focused on how outsourcing effects government, especially foreign policy. What can be done to reverse these effects? She provided four suggestions: “Smart-source” by recruiting, training, and retaining a large body of “21st century network managers”; demilitarize United States foreign policy; ban the use of armed contractors in conflict zones; and embrace full transparency. Stanger cited the website USASpending.gov, on which citizens can see where their money really goes, as one way the government is attempting to make its actions more public. She encouraged the audience to check it out. As for what citizens can do on their own to make government actions more transparent, Stanger said the internet should be exploited, using websites like the multi-national WikiLeaks project that allows citizens to post leaked documents for examination. Given the openness and immediacy of global communication, it is no longer possible for anyone to control the information environment; a new template for interaction between governments and people will soon be implemented, according to Stanger.
To hear the entire program with Allison Stanger, please visit our online audio archive.