U.S. Military Logistics Outsourcing and the Everywhere of War

55 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2015 Last revised: 1 Mar 2016

See all articles by Adam Moore

Adam Moore

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Date Written: December 8, 2015

Abstract

Over the past two decades a network-centric “revolution in military affairs” has profoundly reshaped the geographies of war. No less revolutionary has been the U.S. military’s increasing reliance on private companies that employ a global army of civilian laborers to provide logistical support for operations around the world. This article provides an overview of the scale, scope, and emergence of this phenomenon, supplemented by an analysis of contracting activities at the peak of the war in Iraq in 2008. Following this, I detail three notable geopolitical and geo-economic entanglements that logistics contracting has engendered: 1) subcontracting and the exploitation of a largely South and Southeast Asian subcontracting workforce that is fueled by inadequate military oversight and the down-sourcing of risk, 2) the geopolitics of contractor deaths, travel bans and troop withdrawals instituted by labor exporting countries, and 3) the duality of prosperity and precarity experienced by Bosnians who have worked for U.S. military logistics contractors over the past two decades. Impacting politics, economic livelihoods, and social relations in countries around the world, these entanglements require a rethinking of the spatial dimensions of war.

Keywords: logistics, contracting, war, military

Suggested Citation

Moore, Adam, U.S. Military Logistics Outsourcing and the Everywhere of War (December 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2700879

Adam Moore (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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