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Allison Stanger: Foreign Policy Under Contract

Jenny Asarnow
01/27/2011 at 8:00 p.m.

Private contractors sort our mail, cut our social security checks and fight our wars. In many cases powerful individuals are our country's diplomats — Bill Gates' foundation targets malaria in Africa and former Senator Sam Nunn's NGO destroys Soviet nuclear weapons. Alison Stanger says contractors are running much of the business of the American government. Contractors are even in charge of overseeing contractors, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted or stolen. Still, Stanger says privatization is not all bad (she admires Nunn and Gates), and she's not for giving all the contracts back to the Feds. She wants the American government to focus on its core business: protecting the public interest by making sure private contractors work for us.

Allison Stanger is an international relations scholar and chair of the political science department at Middlebury College. She's the founding director of Middlebury's Rohatyn Center for International Affairs. Stanger is the author of "One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy." She spoke at Town Hall on January 10, 2011. Town Hall's Center for Civic Life and the Elliot Bay Book Company sponsored the event.

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