United States presidential election, 2008: Democrats on Blackwater

Senator Barack Obama called for increased accountability for government contractors like Blackwater USA operating in Iraq. He said he will end such contracts as president and said the United States should “return to an all-volunteer military“.

Former Senator John Edwards released a plan yesterday to end the system of contracting with private security firms altogether. The plan includes an expansion of the Military Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction Act to cover any firm contracted by the United States. As president, Edwards also plans to request legislation from Congress “prohibiting campaign contributions by applicants for and recent recipients of security contract.”

Governor Bill Richardson will announce his plan today to cut $57 billion from the annual Pentagon budget, including $8 billion in cuts to the national defense missile program and billions more in other weapons defense systems. “In an age of terrorism, the greatest nuclear threat will come not on a missile, but rather in a suitcase or a cargo hull,” he told the Des Moines Register.


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