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24 March 2008

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Cold War Zoomie

"Quite simply, there is nothing the Secretary of Defense needs more than a direct chain of accountability down to every dude with a weapon in his area of responsibility."

My point is that NO contractor should be carrying a weapon. Period. No contractor should be in the field. Our place is back in the strategic installations.

In the meantime, his only way of trying to do that is through the UCMJ. I accept that. It's a bandaid, though, not a solution.

All those knuckleheads in the field should have been replaced by active duty folks by this point. But nobody in Washington is willing to try to convince the American public that we need to spend even more money recruiting, training and equipping more troops to do that. That we need to beef up the forces.

What a mess.

Serving Patriot

@CWZ,

I'm with you! Ban the armed mercenary from the field of battle. If we want to do war, then we do war with people in uniform under an accountable chain of command.

Hell, if I hear one more pundit bemoan the "end of the state" and not link the erosion of governmental work to non-governmental contractors/mercenaries... I think I will explode. Pogo! Wake up! Mercenaries are a bane and must be sent packing.

Seems that a simple "nationalization" order - placing all armed security contractors under military command - should suffice. Companies and individuals who do not desire to work under such condition should be given a one-way ticket to the nearest port of embarkation (on the company dime!)...

SP

Sidney O. Smith III

CWZ-- you raise excellent points. I draw a distinction b/t the private contractors who provide logistical and analytical support with those private contractors who pull the trigger.

As for the latter group, legal mechanisms should aim to extend liability, both criminally and civilly, to any CEO of such a private security corp.. In other words, the focus should not remain solely on the employee in the field because that approach allows the CEO to walk away or actually fly away on a private jet paid for by the taxpayer, when in fact he should himself at Leavenworth. Such can be done if truly desired.

Andy

I agree with CWZ here, which brings me back to Congress. Why don't they simply outlaw the use of armed contractors by the US government and fix the problem once and for all. Keep this "bandaid" as CWZ aptly calls it, for an interim period while the various departments and agencies determine how they can best do business without armed contractors. Congress can then pass further legislation enabling those solutions.

Instead it seems we are faced with a confusing "solution" that's completely untested in the courts and likely introduces many unforeseen negative consequences.

And upon further reflection it seems the new MEJA legislation which has passed the house and I'm guessing will pass the senate is a much better bandaid but is still just a bandaid.

William Cummings, you should read the text of that legislation for I think it answers many of the questions in your last comment - should it ultimately be enacted of course.

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