Author Archives: bridgetmvis

In the News: Ann Hagedorn quoted in New York Times today

Ann Hagedorn was quoted in The New York Times article “Blackwater’s Legacy Goes Beyond Public View”. Hagedorn says she believes private military and security contractors, like those Blackwater guards found guilty of murder and manslaughter for their actions in Nisour Square, the will continue to have plenty of work in America’s defense strategy overseas.

‘“Iraq has been called the first contractors’ war,” she said. “With an increasing dependence on these companies worldwide, we could easily be going into another contingency operation that will be another contractors’ war.”’ 

See the whole article about Blackwater’s legacy here.

Privatization article in The American Prospect

Ann Hagedorn tackles problems that can come from privatization in her article for The American Prospect as part of its “What the Free Market Can’t Do” series. In “The Perils of Privatization,” Hagedorn uses examples from the United States’ use of private military and security companies in war zones and embassy security to contracting private companies to run U.S. prisons and halfway houses  to highlight the horrors that can result from government outsourcing them and weighs them against the cost-savings commonly attributed to that outsourcing.

Ultimately, she concludes that “Privatization, in sum, is effectively a fraud” and “For all the rhetoric about public-private partnerships, our society works better when we keep public functions public and private ones private.” 

Read the whole article here.

Listen to Ann on 93.1 WYSO

Ann Hagedorn talks not only about the issues raised in The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security, but the hard work and determination it takes to write about such a complicated and fluid topic in this interview with the Yellow Springs, Ohio-based radio station.

Listen to her full interview with 93.1 WYSO here.

Ann Op-Ed in The New York Times

Following the revelation that an armed security contractor with a criminal background was operating the elevator President Obama was riding on at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ann possess the crucial question in her New York Times op-ed  A Perilous Dependence on Contractors: “How thoroughly does the government vet the private security contractors that an increasing number of agencies employ?” 

She argues that the incident is the most recent warning that the U.S. government “has become dependent on contractors for our defense and security. But the speed of that industry’s development and our consumption of its services far surpass the agencies’ ability to hold contractors accountable for the vetting and training of their employees.” 

Ann ends the op-ed with this haunting paragraph: “The thought of what could have happened in that elevator in Atlanta should horrify all Americans. If that isn’t enough to shake us out of our complacency toward contractors, what is?”

Read the full op-ed on

Ann on ‘In Depth’

Ann Hagedorn shared the story of former Special Forces translator Kadhim Alkanani, who was shot by a U.S. military contractor in Iraq, on “In Depth” with Francis Rose among other topics related to the private military industry.

Listen to the Ann’s full appearance on the Federal News Radio program here.

Listen to Ann on ‘Up to Date’

Ann Hagedorn was recently featured on Kansas City, Mo.-based KCUR’s “Up to Date” program.

In the interview, Ann talks about how private military contractors came to dominate the U.S. war zones in the Middle East. Beginning in March 2003, a “bonanza of contracts” gave rise to many of the largest private military companies that have gone on to receive billions of dollars from the U.S. government in support of its missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Listen to Ann’s full appearance on “Up to Date” here.

Ann Hagedorn Essay on

In her essay on “Is America’s Second Contractors’ War Drawing Near?”, Ann Hagedorn examines the possibility of the United States engaging in a Second Contractor’s War, following the First Contractor War, the term coined for the country’s involvement in Iraq after it become the most privatized military engagement in U.S. history, with private contractors actually outnumbering traditional troops.

Ann poses many questions that another war fought with a privatized military yields:

“This time, for example, will we be told about the extent of the role of military and security contractors? Will we know which companies are making millions, even billions, from providing armed and unarmed services in the name of American defense? Will we know how many layers of subcontractors there are, from what countries they were hired, and who trained them? When the U.S. government announces casualty totals, will the stats include the contractors who were wounded and killed? And what about the soldiers missing in action? In Iraq by the spring of 2011 there were eight MIAs, seven of which were private contractors.”

And she asks the ultimate question, “Three years (after the end of the First Contractors’ War), we as citizens of a democracy must ask ourselves: are we ready for the Second Contractors’ War?”


For the full essay go to