Once again, the United States armed forces are looking in the direction of private contractors to handle guard duty that historically has been handled by members of the armed forces. Military authorities are examining the possibility of hiring private contractors to provide around-the-clock security at dozens of bases in Afghanistan. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has termed the use of private contractors in certain areas of Afghanistan, “vital” to the maintenance of security.
Members of our armed forces undergo extensive training to become proficient in the duties they will carry out once in combat. They are under the command of those who are trained and adhered to military regulations and procedures. We have had enough of private contractors who lack military discipline and all too frequently have wound up causing problems, if not actually killing innocent civilians. If the armed forces require more troops, it should come from the regular army, not from mercenaries. It is about time the American people provided support to those who serve, including re-institution of a draft.