Panel Discussion on Implementation Challenges in Wartime Contracting

A panel on wartime contracting will be hosted, with the support of the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs and the Campbell Institute at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, on Wednesday, April 13th from 8:30 – 11:15 am in Eggers 018 and available online at

A discussion of the implementation and accountability challenges of this important topic will take place with the following panelists: Ms. Joanna Ayers (US GAO), Colonel David Berg (US Army, SU MBA program), Mr. Robert Toole (private contractor) and Professor William Banks (INSCT, SU College of Law and PA faculty member).

A brief highlight of the panel follows.

In this panel, the focus is on contracts as a policy tool and their current use in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than $200 billion has been spent since 2002 on U.S. Government contracting in these countries. Approximately 200,000 contractors have been employed by a range of government agencies. These contractors are U.S. nationals, Iraq/Afghan nationals, and third-country nationals. There are a host of policy implementation and management issues to be discussed. In recent remarks, Sec. Gates has described the situation around wartime contracting as death by a thousand paper cuts. One challenge then is that each small decision is not well integrated with each subsequent decision and certainly not aligned with a larger strategic orientation and goal. Extricating oneself from these increasingly complex processes can be a herculean challenge. The panelists will discuss these and other issues.