CNN anchor T.J. Holmes asked Dickinson about a recent report from the U.S. Government Accounting Office, which found that the government does not know how many contractors are on the payroll and that there is great waste in their expenses.
"We need to dramatically increase the oversight and accountability of these contractors," Dickinson told Holmes. "There are more contractors than troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that raises serious concerns."
Dickinson said that hiring contractors reduces the political costs of war and that there is an assumption that private companies always do things better and at lower cost.
"But we don't really know that," Dickinson said. "We rushed in to this without studying it.
"We need to have greater oversight, rather than trying to eliminate (contractors), because the reality is that they're here to stay."Listen to the interview here.Dickinson's work focuses on human rights, national security, foreign affairs privatization, and qualitative empirical approaches to international law. Her current work-in-progress is a monograph entitled, Outsourcing War and Peace, to be published by Yale University Press. The book examines the increasing privatization of military, security, and foreign aid functions of government, considers the impact of this trend on core public values, and outlines mechanism for protecting these values in an era of privatization.