TO SENS. JIM WEBB AND CLAIRE MCCASKILL for introducing a bill that would lead to an investigation of wartime contracting. The freshmen Democrats want to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to study the impact of the government's growing reliance on civilian contractors for wartime functions. It would assess the extent of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of wartime contracts. The proposal is long overdue. As Webb says, we have outsourced this war in ways never before seen and to the tune of billions of dollars. It's time to take a much closer look at those who are cashing in and, more importantly, whether outsourcing is cost-effective and produces better results than if the military were doing the work on its own.