The Senae Armed Services Committee is writing new legislation that impacts roles played by private contractors in the Iraq war. One provision would prohibit comtract employees from performing “inherently governmental” security operations. the second prevents them from conducting interrogation of detainees during or after hostilities. Senator Carl Levin expressed the view, “We’ve seen a real problem..where some contractors are performing what are essentially governmental functions in combat areas.” The proposed legislation will also apply to private contractors working with the State Department.
It now remains unclear which body will be responsible for performing security functions in combat areas. Levin indicated the numbers entailed in this entire issue are rather small and if the military requires additional military police that issue could be addressed.
At present about 14,000 private contractors are providing security for military personnel. During prior wars, the military handled its own security and there is no reason why they cannot do so in Iraq.
Posted in Democrats, Human Rights, Iraq War, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iraq War, Private Contractors, security operations
Congress is prepared to take new action ensuring the United States military exerts control over the actions of private contractors in Iraq and elsewhere. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, said Congress will insert such provisions in the 2008 defense spending bill. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has already moved to implement new rules for private guards which will specify how and when they can use force in carrying out their duties. However, so far, she has not accepted the desire of many members of Congress that private contractors should be placed under control of the United States military. Levin was firm in insisting new language will be inserted into the defense spending bill, “whether she likes it or not.”
The entire matter of allowing private contractors to conduct their own war activities is a first in American history. The emergence of private war activities stems from the nation’s failure to implement a draft system if it desires engaging in wars. The private contractors today do work that was performed by members of the armed forces in World War II or Korea or Vietnam. No one ever heard any tales of erratic behavior on the part of Seabees in World War II. For some reason, they didn’t go around shooting civilians.
Posted in Democrats, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Politics, Republicans, War, World News
Tagged congress, Private Contractors, Rice, Seabees, Senator Levin