December 11, 2003

Reconstruction Contracts Are Not Spoils

Michael Williams of Master of None mischaracterizes reconstruction contracts as spoils of war or, more specifically, "these types of rebuilding contracts are the closest thing to "spoils" that exists" in modern warfare. This is just bad economics. If I run a car body shop and get into a car accident I might offer to do the work in my shop and not go through insurance. Essentially I'm repairing (and perhaps improving damage from prior accidents) what I fixed from my own pocket. On net, am I any better off? No reasonable analysis would find it so. I incur expenses in parts, labor, wear and tear on my fixed assets, and in the end the repaired/improved car drives away and I get no benefit other than the insurance company doesn't hear about it.

No. The real spoils of the Iraq campaign is not from reconstruction contracts. The spoils of the campaign are in taking one country out of the non-integrating gap and pushing it into the functioning core where they will increase their contribution to global human wealth and create a politico-military situation that not only denies terrorists haven in Iraq but makes them uncomfortable in neighboring countries.

Posted by TMLutas at December 11, 2003 12:50 PM