Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Do Armed Contractors Belong in War Zones?

By Pratap Chatterjee* at IPS News

WASHINGTON, Jun 16, 2010 (IPS) – Should private contractors like Blackwater be allowed to continue to provide armed security for convoys, diplomatic and other personnel, and military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq? A bipartisan U.S. Congressional commission will spend two days cross-examining 14 witnesses from academia, government and the companies themselves to come up with an answer.

“Some security tasks are so closely tied to government responsibilities, so mission-critical, or so risky that they shouldn’t be contracted out at all,” says Christopher Shays, a former Republican member of Congress from Connecticut.

Shays is the co-chair of the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC), a body created in early 2008 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in military contracting services in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The commission is expected to reveal results from a seven day fact-finding trip to Iraq last month in which spot checks on four military bases turned up a contracting company hired to protect a military base that had not been vetted even though they had dispatched hundreds of employees. At another base, individual security guards were identified who had not undergone proper background checks.

The thorny question of what is “inherently governmental” and what can be turned over to contractors was singled out for attention by President Barack Obama in March 2009, when he ordered the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), a department within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, to come up with an answer.

Read the full article here

June 20, 2010 - Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, DynCorp, G4S, Legal Jurisdictions, Pentagon, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, Triple Canopy | , , , , , , ,

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