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.