“Close Combat Privatization”[1]

LTC David M. Barnes




America woke on the morning of 1 April 2004 to the headlines “4 From U.S. Killed In Ambush In Iraq; Mob Drags Bodies” and “Four civilians killed in Iraq [who] worked for N.C. security firm.”[2]  At first glance, the headlines seemed a repetition of the same old story: four more casualties in Iraq.  Four civilians being killed in Fallujah was not much of a surprise; there have been many civilian and military casualties in Iraq.  What did cause some to pause, however, was the manner in which they were killed and how their bodies were burned and displayed on international television like some macabre war trophy.  The U.S. population became more interested; the inhuman treatment of these men’s remains caused other questions to arise: What were these four civilians doing in a known combat zone, relatively unprotected and unsupported?  These were not your average men from the street; they were seasoned former special operations soldiers, armed and supposedly escorting a convoy through the Marine’s area of operations (AO).  People began to wonder about the identity of these armed civilians.  If they were not soldiers or CIA-operatives, then what if these same four men had been captured instead of being killed?  What if the enemy or a government that did not support the Iraqi invasion decided to prosecute them as illegal combatants?  Unfortunately, there was and currently is no agreed upon standard for these privatized, armed employees.  Their legal status remains undefined.

Privatization (or “outsourcing” or contracting) is not a new concept to our military.  We have outsourced many of our requirements, especially in the logistics area.  In the last few decades, however, the Army has grown increasingly reliant on privatization.  From deployments to Southwest Asia and the Balkans to daily operations in our home posts, every aspect of our military seems to have a privatized component. Company names such as KBR, DynCorp, Vinnell, MPRI, Cubic, and Northrop Grumman are all common place in our vernacular.  Even portions of post security are privatized—look at the logos on the gate guards as you drive in each morning. 

But, what if there was an incident at the post gate one morning, an incident where one of these civilian guards would have to use deadly force?  Would it be legal?  I would imagine that the government has thought through this type of scenario and has found or established the appropriate legal grounds.  Now consider the same incident in some foreign land—Iraq for instance.  A land where the United States does not have a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) or a place where there is not a strong central government. It becomes increasingly difficult to legally categorize these armed contractors and what they can and cannot do.

In this paper, I will attempt to highlight some of the grey areas concerning armed contractors that a commander needs to understand.  (However, I’ll leave the discussion of privatization and the military at large for others to debate.)  After a brief discussion of who these armed privatized security entities are, I will focus on issues at the tactical level that the ground-owning commander needs to consider.  Finally, I will discuss some of the legal and moral aspects that could affect operations or have strategic implications.  These privatized military firms (PMFs)[3] are working side-by side with our soldiers and are also often moving from one AO to another without reporting to these commanders.  Yet, as we continue the long struggle against terrorism, these same PMFs will continue to provide an integral part of our efforts. 

Who are these Armed Men?

In Iraq,  “[more] than 60 firms currently employ more than 20,000 private personnel there to carry out military functions (these figures do not include the thousands more that provide nonmilitary reconstruction and oil services)—roughly the same number as are provided by all of the United States' coalition partners combined.”[4]  This startling number raises a fundamental question: Why are they there?  The 2003 Government Accounting Office (GAO) report on military contracting lists three responses:  “to gain specialized technical skills, bypass limits on military personnel that can be deployed to certain regions, and ensure that scarce resources are available for other assignments.” [5]  For the commander there in Iraq, however, this question becomes moot.  The PMFs are there and will continue to be there, operating in and around his or her AO; what is important are the potential impacts on the soldiers and mission.

“Wait,” one may be saying, “what is the difference between these armed civilians and mercenaries?”  Both are armed; both work for money.  P.W. Singer, Olin Fellow at the Brookings Institute, provides a good discussion of the differences in his book, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry.[6]  Certainly, the modern security firms have some similarities and can even trace their lineage back through history as mercenary operations.  Even some common business terms used today such as “company” and “freelance” could be traced to military ventures for hire.[7]  Nevertheless, Singer says, they are distinct.  He states that PMFs unlike mercenaries (1) are organized in corporate form, (2) are “driven by business profit rather than individual profit,” and (3) are operating and competing on the “open global market.”[8]

Furthermore, PMFs can be further divided into three categories:  Military Support Firms, Military Consultant Firms, and Military Provider Firms.[9]  The lines between these categories are often blurred as companies and their contracts cross categories, but I will focus on the third category—Military Provider Firms—ones who provide armed contractors in the field. 

“Welcome to the Green Zone!”

Off the top of my head, I can recall at least eight distinct armed PMFs working in and around the Green Zone, and this number does not include those peshmerga and other security forces hired by Iraqi and other entities.  These PMFs performed a number of tasks, from guarding the entrances to different compounds and escorting convoys to conducting personal security detachments (PSDs).  What is interesting is that none of them reported to my boss, the ground-owning commander, nor his boss, nor his boss’ boss.  These PMFs worked for whomever they were contracted.  Some were in fact employed by our government.  For example, they provided PSD to key Department of State or Defense Department personnel; others, however, were hired by private corporations for protection.  Singer writes,

 An estimated 6,000 non-Iraqi private contractors currently carry out armed tactical functions in the country. These individuals are sometimes described as "security guards," but they are a far cry from the rent-a-cops who troll the food courts of U.S. shopping malls. In Iraq, their jobs include protecting important installations, such as corporate enclaves, U.S. facilities, and the Green Zone in Baghdad; guarding key individuals (Ambassador Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority [(CPA)], was protected by a Blackwater team that even had its own armed helicopters); and escorting convoys….[10]


This phenomenon of armed PMFs is not Iraq-exclusive. Armed PMFs are working around the globe, including in Afghanistan, and they have even provided PSD for President Karzai[11]

However, not even the CPA exercised full control over these PMFs. Twice a month CPA staffers held a PMF coordination meeting to discuss policy, deconflict issues and discuss mutually important issues such as quick reaction forces.[12]   These meetings and building informal relationships between the PMFs and the military became essential to deconflict battlespace and missions.  For example, one requirement was to coordinate efforts of the civilian PSD, military escorts, and military quick reaction forces from a different unit. 

An example where miscommunication and a lack of trust could have had tragic consequences was with the employment of snipers.  My unit had employed snipers atop a prominent building to overwatch approaches into a vitally important Entry Control Point (ECP).  Coincidently, a VIP convoy planned to move through the area, and its PMF PSD has emplaced a sniper on the same building.  The soldiers and the contracted sniper had the wherewithal to coordinate their efforts, but if my soldier’s engagement criteria were different (and they were) from the PMF sniper, there obviously could be issues.  He did not know my control measures and was not operating on our frequencies.  Fortunately, in this example, the convoy passed without incident, and we were able to emplace some coordination and communication measures between the unit and the PMF for future operations.[13]

“Perceived Relative Deprivation”


Apart from command and control coordination, commanders need to become more aware of another issue, especially when retention of good soldiers has become even more important.  Deborah Avant notes in her article that “News reports on the war in Iraq have noted the relatively high salaries of contractors—some $20,000 per month, triple or more what active-duty soldiers earn.”[14]  Although retention of soldiers while deployed has been thus far successful, the lure of tax-free bonuses and a sense of patriotism goes only so far.  The armed PMFs operating in Iraq are filled with many former military personnel.  Some of the more famous ones were founded and are still operated by them (i.e. Triple Canopy).  For retired personnel, this kind of employment makes complete sense.  And, there are many of these employees who continue to operate from a sense of patriotism.  However, when a company can offer you a similar job with such a large increase in salary, it is not surprising that many currently serving military personnel are considering making their career move earlier. 

Consider the British SAS.  The SAS is having to revert to some unusual recruiting techniques to keep its ranks full because so many of its soldiers are finding employment elsewhere in PMFs.[15]  Some sources even allege that there are more former SAS in Iraq working in these security firms than in the active SAS in British Army, and reports of soldiers asking for leaves of absences to work in Iraq is increasing.[16] 

Having this talent in a PMF does increase its competency and credibility among military and government planners, which in turn helps their bottom line.  One might argue that this is another reason to maintain the tax-free bonuses while deployed.  Regardless, the lure of money is something else our retention NCOs and commanders need to take into account.

“Why did you shoot my car?”[17]

In early 2004, if coalition forces damaged an Iraqi’s property, the Iraqi could file a claim with the district council.   However, in the quoted incident above, it was not coalition forces that fired on this man’s car.  It was a PMF convoy that appeared to have fired on the car to keep the Iraqi away from the convoy.  I raise this example not to point out that particular PMF’s behavior, as we were operating under a similar SOP for a while (which was eventually phased out by Multi-national Corps-Iraq (MNC-I)).  Rather, it raises another, more important issue: the legal status of these armed PMFs.  According to the Laws of Land Warfare, combatants are allotted certain privileges that correspond to their responsibilities during war.  In turn, non-combatants are immune from deliberate targeting but must refrain from bearing arms.[18]  There have long been debates over the relativeness of non-combatant immunity for factory workers who make the bombs or planes or ball bearings.[19]  Even civilians residing in London, Dresden, and Berlin were targeted. 

It seems unreasonable, though, to conclude that these PMF employees are non-combatants; they openly carry and use arms.  (Of course, one may argue that the other, unarmed PMFs are non-combatants; this argument is not conclusive, however, and is beyond the scope of this paper.) Yet, it also seems an untenable argument to call these armed PMFs “combatants” as we would the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen. 

The problem becomes even murkier if these armed individuals are captured.  As a combatant, we in the military are to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions as POWs.  A POW has certain rights; an illegal combatant has none.  At best, an illegal combatant would be classified as a criminal then be subject to the criminal system.  There are no agreed upon, international conventions to cover these new, armed PMFs; the laws governing mercenaries do not apply.[20]  Therefore, their legal status remains uncertain.  Recall the opening discussion about the Blackwater employees killed in Fallujah.  If captured and somehow brought to an international court, what would be the outcome?

This unclear distinction is further exacerbated because enemies (and civilians alike) do not distinguish between the military in uniform and the armed PMFs in civilian clothes.  Often military personnel wear civilian clothes to blend with the population; similarly, many contractors wear uniforms in the performance of their jobs.  The Iraqi gentleman did not care whether a soldier or a contractor shot his car; he wanted recompense. 

 “You can’t court martial a private military contractor.”[21]


Beyond the legal ambiguity concerning combatant status, there seems little agreement as to whom these armed PMF employees are responsible.  Certainly, there is a contractual arrangement that is monetarily- and employment-binding; however, if and when some of them are involved in crimes or misconduct, there doesn’t seem to be an overarching legal authority to prosecute or punish.  In Sierra Leone, employees of Executive Outcomes were suspected of using disproportionate force, even committing war crimes.[22]  Nevertheless, there was no one to pursue the allegations let alone prosecute the offenders; there wasn’t a clear legal basis for doing so. 

In Bosnia, employees of DynCorp allegedly were involved in sex trading, normally punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if they were military personnel.  Avant notes that most

…security company activity falls outside the purview of the 1989 U.N. Convention on Mercenaries, which governs only such egregious soldier-of-fortune activities as overthrowing a government. Human rights law generally binds only states, reducing the formal legal responsibilities of contractors. For example, when personnel from the U.S. outsourcing firm DynCorp (hired by the United States to train police officers in the Balkans) were implicated in sex-trade schemes, neither the contractors nor the U.S. government was subject to international legal action.[23]


Three years have past since the Iraqi invasion, and there are beginning to be signs of similar issues.  Until July 2004, contractors in Iraq were subject to the laws of their home country, not CPA nor Iraq, which made prosecutions difficult. [24]   In the infamous Abu Ghraib incident, the Army’s report highlighted that most of the interpreters and some interrogators it appears were contracted and perhaps involved. [25]  

In addition, there was another armed contractor incident in Fallujah.   U.S. Marines detained sixteen Zapata Engineering contractors who had supposedly fired upon unarmed Iraqis and the Marines themselves.  After their detention, stories began to appear of potential detainee abuse; these stories further complicated the differing perceptions of the events leading up to the incident.[26]  The Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted an investigation, and each of the Zapata detainees was given a memo barring them from working in the Al Anbar province.[27]

  Although it is clear that these incidents are isolated, and the fact that some soldiers have been found guilty of similar allegations, it does not eliminate the potential conflict and disturbance these types of incidences could have in a unit’s AO.  Marine Col. John Toolan sums this tension well in an interview with PBS’s “Frontline:”  ‘We have a tendency to want to be a little bit more sure about operating in an environment,’ he said. ‘Whereas I think some of the contractors are motivated by the financial remuneration and the fact that they probably want to get someplace from point A to point B quickly, their tendency [is] to have a little more risk. So yes, we’re at odds. But we can work it out.’” [28]

“Governments no longer control the primary means of warfare.”[29]


COL. Toolan raises an important point.  Even if the armed PMFs in a commander’s AO share the same endstate and even patriotic motivation, they may have differing immediate interests and may have a different approach to the problem at hand.  PMFs by their very nature are profit driven.  Being focused on the bottom line may not be such a negative raison d’etre.  It is the desire to make money and the fear in the long run of losing precious contracts that provides some control over PMF conduct.  One can imagine the result if a contractor with the U.S. Government reneges or worse violates their contract to such a degree that the government bans further business dealings with them; the results would be disastrous for the PMF.  Nevertheless, there have been broken contracts and conflict of interest in the past.

Stories from the many struggles in Africa highlight these issues.  Companies hire one organization, while the government hires another.  Rebels seeking to overthrow the government and take over the mines hire their own.  Singer highlights that in Eritrea there were former Russian and Ukrainian pilots allegedly flying for both sides.  Although they dutifully bombed their respective targets according to their contracts, they evidently refused to engage in aerial combat.[30]  Furthermore, Columbian drug cartels were allegedly hiring PMFs.[31]

In a more innocuous example, Canadian military equipment was stuck aboard a privately owned ship returning to port because of a business dispute.  Fortunately, the Canadian military was returning home and not deploying for an immediate contingency, and the business conflict was resolved.[32]  

These examples may seem farfetched, especially when discussing armed PMFs that are run by former U.S. and coalition military personnel, still loyal to their governments.  But, what about third country nationals?  Many of the PMFs in Iraq hire local and third country nationals.  These same PMFs would need to guarantee the loyalty of these employees, certainly keeping them from ‘sensitive’ environments.  They do for the most part, but this is another area for commanders to watch.   

Finally, a last issue remains.  All of us who have worked for more than one employer have in effect left that former job for one reason or another.  What happens when the armed PMF personnel you counted on for an upcoming event also leave for ‘greener pastures?’  Singer highlights this phenomenon: “[PMF] 

employees, unlike soldiers, can always choose to walk off the job. Such freedom can leave the military in the lurch, as has occurred several times already in Iraq: during periods of intense violence, numerous private firms delayed, suspended, or ended their operations, placing great stress on U.S. troops. [33]




A little over one month ago, three U.S. contractors passed their third complete year as hostages in Peru.[34]  In February 2003, Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes were taken captive in Peru by the FARC. [35]  They were employees of Microwave California Inc. of Northrop Grumman. Whether they were involved in counter-drug or counterinsurgency is not the argument here; rather, these PMF employee’s legal status defines their confinement.  It is not clear whether they are captured combatants or kidnapped businessmen.  What is clear is that the question of their legal status and the arena of international politics have not help resolve their plight and result in their release.  Avant highlights this issue and notes, “when the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group took three U.S. military contractors hostage in 2003 and granted them POW status, the U.S. government still officially designated the contractors as kidnapees.” [36]  So, why should a commander care?

Identifying the legal status of armed PMFs is not the purview of the commander, but it may affect operations.  In this paper, I have attempted to identify these armed PMFs; who they are; where they come from; what are their operations. I have highlighted some of the command and control and coordination issues commanders may face and should account for.  Even the salary difference has influence over the soldiers.   Security concerns remain, and commanders could face soldier discipline issues that fall outside his or her jurisdiction.  Furthermore, consequence management and Information Operations responsibilities lie with the commander; but these other armed entities may have other priorities.

As I noted in the Peru example and in others, the role of the armed PMFs is not adequately defined; therefore, the question of the legal status of armed PMFs remains today. So too, does the question of jurisdiction, command and control, as well as conduct responsibility.  Some commanders may not have any of these issues with the armed PMFs.  Some may encounter each of them.  What is certain is that these armed PMFs will be operating in our battlespace, and clear guidance on how we operate together still needs defining.




“Appendix 2: Security Companies Doing Business in Iraq” (Lists 67 companies in Iraq) http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Research/2004PMCapp2.pdf 

“Blackwater aids military with armed support.”  CNN.com  March 31 2004.  http://www.sandline.com/hotlinks/CNN-Blackwater.html 

“4 From U.S. Killed In Ambush In Iraq; Mob Drags Bodies.”  NYTimes.com.  1 April 2004. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10C15FD3E5D0C728CDDAD0894DC404482.

“Four civilians killed in Iraq worked for N.C. security firm.”  USA Today.com  31 March 2004.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-31-casualties_x.htm 

Four Triple Canopy Security Professionals Killed in Iraq.”  PR Newswire Europe Limited.  7 September 2005.  http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=153066 

“The High-Risk Contracting Business.”  PBS.org Frontline. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/

 “Loss of Six Blackwater Security Consulting Employees.” 22 April 2005.  Joe D. Morton, Acting Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security and Director for the Office of Foreign Missions.  Statement to Employees of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.  http://www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/rm/45056.htm 

“Minutes: Private Security Company Working Group.”  PBS.org http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/contractors/minutes.html

“Security Companies Doing Business in Iraq.”  (lists 28 in Iraq; Curiously several groups missing including Blackwater Security).  http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1763.html 

“U.S. Demands FARC Release Captured Americans.”  PBS.org.  25 February 2003.  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/colombia_02-25-03.html.

“US trio mark 3 years as FARC hostages” 13 February 2006. http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/02/13/1368584.htm.

Anscombe, Elizabeth.  “War and Murder.” In War and Morality, edited by Richard A. Wasserstrom.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub. Co., 1970.

Arun, Neil.  “Outsourcing the War.”  2 April 2004.  http://www.sandline.com/hotlinks/BBC-Outsourcing.html 

Avant, Deborah. “Think Again: Mercenaries.”  Foreign Policy.  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2577

Chatterjee, Pratap.  Ex-SAS Men Cash in on Iraq Bonanza.”  Corpwatch.org.  9 June 2004.  http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11355

Porteus, Liza.  “'How Do You Like Your Contractor Money?” Fox News.com.  30 June 2005.  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,161261,00.html

Porteus, Liza.  “Iraq's New War Zone: American vs. American”  Fox News.com.  29 June 2005.  http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,161170,00.html

Scahill, Jeremy.  “Blackwater Down” 21 September 2005. The Nation.   http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/scahill 

Singer, P. W.  “Corporate Warriors: The Privatized Military and Iraq” 5 December 2005, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, transcript of remarks. NYC.  http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/printerfriendlymedia.php/prmID/5287?PHPSESSID=89170a32797e6a4010dc0b570f6a561f

Singer, P. W.  Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry.  Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 2003.

Singer, P. W. “Outsourcing War” Foreign Affairs, March 1, 2005. http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/fellows/singer20050301.htm

U. S. Department of the Army, Law of Land Warfare, Field Manual 27-10.  1956.

Walzer, Michael.  Just and Unjust Wars.  New York: Basic Books, 1977.

West, Bing.  No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah.  Bantam Books New York, 2005.

White, Josh and Griff Witte.  “Tension, Confusion Between Troops, Contractors in Iraq.”  Washington Post.  10 July 2005.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/09/AR2005070901175.html




[1] This paper reflects my own views only and neither the Army’s nor any other official policy.

[2]  “4 From U.S. Killed In Ambush In Iraq; Mob Drags Bodies,” NYTimes.com, 1 April 2004, http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10C15FD3E5D0C728CDDAD0894DC404482 and “Four civilians killed in Iraq worked for N.C. security firm,” USA Today.com, 31 March 2004.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-31-casualties_x.htm.  For a good discussion on the impact of the deaths of the four Blackwater employees, see Bing West, No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah, Bantam Books New York, 2005, 2-7.  There have been many other contractor casualties; some headlines include “Blackwater aids military with armed support,” CNN.com  March 31 2004, http://www.sandline.com/hotlinks/CNN-Blackwater.html; “Four Triple Canopy Security Professionals Killed in Iraq,” PR Newswire Europe Limited, 7 September 2005, http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=153066; And, “Loss of Six Blackwater Security Consulting Employees,” 22 April 2005, Joe D. Morton, Acting Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security and Director for the Office of Foreign Missions, Statement to Employees of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, http://www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/rm/45056.htm. 

[3] P.W. Singer, “Corporate Warriors: The Privatized Military and Iraq” 5 December 2005, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, transcript of remarks, NYC,  http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/printerfriendlymedia.php/prmID/5287?PHPSESSID=89170a32797e6a4010dc0b570f6a561f.  I have adapted the convention of P.W. Singer for the descriptions of the private military firms (PMFs).  He has devoted years of study of the political aspects of PMFs and the military; I’m going to focus on the only one aspect and tie it to what commanders on the ground should understand. 

[4] Singer, “Outsourcing War” Foreign Affairs, March 1, 2005, http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/fellows/singer20050301.htm.  See also Appendix 2: Security Companies Doing Business in Iraq” (It lists 67 companies in Iraq) http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Research/2004PMCapp2.pdf; and “Security Companies Doing Business in Iraq.”  (which lists 28 in Iraq; Curiously several groups are missing, including Blackwater Security).  http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1763.html.

[5] Deborah Avant, Foreign Policy, “Think Again: Mercenaries.”  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2577.   I am not going to discuss whether the PMFs are meeting the expectations outlined by the GAO; that discussion is beyond the scope of this paper. 

[6] P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 2003., 44-48.

[7] Ibid., 24.  Singer devotes an entire chapter to the historical rise of PMFs on pp. 19-39.

[8] Ibid., 45-46.

[9] Ibid., 63.  Singer provides an explanation of these three groupings; see pp, 92-100.  He uses the examples of three PMFs for illustration: Executive Outcomes, MPRI, and Brown and Root.  See also “Outsourcing,” where Singer writes, “The industry is divided into three basic sectors: military provider firms (also known as "private security firms"), which offer tactical military assistance, including actual combat services, to clients; military consulting firms, which employ retired officers to provide strategic advice and military training; and military support firms, which provide logistics, intelligence, and maintenance services to armed forces, allowing the latter's soldiers to concentrate on combat and reducing their government's need to recruit more troops or call up more reserves.”

[10] Singer, “Outsourcing.”

[11] Singer, Corporate Warriors, 17.

[12] The author participated in many of these private security company working group meetings.

[13] Author’s conversation with PMF sniper’s supervisors, May 04.

[14] Avant.  Some sources say the difference in salary is even greater, up to 2-10 times.  See also Singer, Corporate Warriors, 74 and 270 and “Outsourcing.”

[15]  Singer, Corporate Warriors, 77.

[16]  Singer, “Corporate” remarks transcript.  See also Pratap Chatterjee, “Ex-SAS Men Cash in on Iraq Bonanza,”  Corpwatch.org, 9 June 2004, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11355.

[17] Asked to author by Iraqi man whose car was shot by automatic fire from a PSD escort. June 2004.

[18] U. S. Department of the Army, Law of Land Warfare, Field Manual 27-10, 1956.

[19] There are too many references on this debate to list.  Some excellent sources on this discussion include Elizabeth Anscombe, “War and Murder.” In War and Morality, edited by Richard A. Wasserstrom.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub. Co., 1970 and Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, New York: Basic Books, 1977.

[20]  Singer, Corporate Warrior, 163. 

[21] Singer, “Corporate” remarks transcript.

[22] Singer, Corporate Warrior, 218.

[23] Avant.  See also Singer, Corporate Warriors, 222.

[24] Avant.  She writes, “Even U.S. legislation created to address this issue (the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000) lacks specifics and entrusts the U.S. secretary of defense with initiating prosecutions. Countries that opposed the war may have a particularly hard time prosecuting contractors for crimes committed in Iraq. That is especially true of countries such as South Africa that claim contractors from their country are exporting services without the government's permission.”  Singer writes in “Outsourcing” that, “not one private military contractor has been prosecuted or punished for a crime in Iraq (unlike the dozens of U.S. soldiers who have), despite the fact that more than 20,000 contractors have now spent almost two years there. Either every one of them happens to be a model citizen, or there are serious shortcomings in the legal system that governs them”

[25] For a good discussion of the impact of the ability to properly control the behavior of PMFs, see Singer “Outsourcing.”  He notes, “According to reports, all of the translators and up to half of the interrogators involved were private contractors working for two firms, Titan and caci. The U.S. Army found that contractors were involved in 36 percent of the proven incidents and identified 6 employees as individually culpable. More than a year after the incidents, however, not one of these individuals has been indicted, prosecuted, or punished, even though the U.S. Army has found the time to try the enlisted soldiers involved. Nor has there been any attempt to assess corporate responsibility for the misdeeds.”

[26] Liza Porteus, “'How Do You Like Your Contractor Money?” Fox News.com, 30 June 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,161261,00.html.  Ms Porteus conducted a four-part series on tensions between the military and contractors in Iraq; this article focuses on the Zapata incident in Fallujah.  See also Singer, “Corporate” remarks transcript.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Singer, Corporate Warriors, 55.

[30] Singer, Corporate Warriors, 158.

[31] Ibid, 14.  See also Singer, “Corporate” remarks transcript.

[32] Ibid, 160.

[33] Singer, “Outsourcing.”

[34]US trio mark 3 years as FARC hostages” 13 February 2006, http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/02/13/1368584.htm.

[35]  “U.S. Demands FARC Release Captured Americans,” PBS.org, 25 February 2003, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/colombia_02-25-03.html. See also Singer, Corporate Warriors, 15. 

[36] Avant.