Deborah Avant, UC Irvine political science professor and director of international studies, will provide expert testimony today in Washington, D.C., as part of the Commission on Wartime Contracting’s review of contracting practices in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bipartisan legislative panel is examining the proper role and oversight of more than 40,000 private security contractors supporting U.S. operations in Southwest Asia. Avant will be part of a six-witness group with differing views on whether some or all security tasks are “inherently governmental functions” that should not be contracted out to private businesses. She specializes in civil-military relations, military change and the politics of controlling violence and is the author of The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security, in which she provides a detailed account of the trade-offs involved in the practice.