Serving in overseas wars, the men and women of today’s armed forces could easily miss the familiar tastes and luxuries of home. Fortunately for them, the US military has made it a point to make Pizza Huts, Taco Bells, Cinnabons and even beauty parlors common fixtures of their major bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, in order to provide those familiar amenities, the military must staff tens of thousands of international civilian employees. With few oversights, and little accountability, those workers — dubbed “Third Country Nationals” in military parlance — are often subject to terrible living and working conditions.
Sarah Stillman is a visiting scholar at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and inaugural recipient of their reporting award. Sarah joins us to discuss the growing ranks of Third Country Nationals, which she wrote about in this week’s issue of The New Yorker.