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Defense Secretary Bob Gates recently said that he thought future defense contracts with the Defense Department (Blackwater has non-Iraq contracts with DOD) should include "non-compete" clauses so private-security companies don't poach U.S. troops out of the overtaxed military. What does Prince think about that?
It might be onerous for the troops, Prince responded. It would be "fine" with him, he testified, "but not everyone who joins the military serves 20 years." There isn't direct evidence, he said -- truthfully -- that contractor recruiting has led to greater departures from the military than would otherwise exist. What's more "it would be upsetting to a lot of soldiers if they didn't have the ability to use the skills they learned in the in military in the private sector." It would be akin to telling an engineer on a nuclear submarine that he or she couldn't become a civil engineer post-retirement, Prince contended.
Gates, however, never said that future contracts with DOD should ban U.S. troops from eventually going into any profession -- only that companies in-theater not actively recruit U.S. troops serving in that theater.