Accession Number : ADA488709
Title : Private Security Contractors in Iraq: Background, Legal Status, and Other Issues
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Elsea, Jennifer K ; Schwartz, Moshe ; Nakamura, Kennon H
Report Date : 29 Sep 2008
Pagination or Media Count : 61
Abstract : The United States is relying heavily on private firms to supply a wide variety of services in Iraq, including security. From publicly available information, this is apparently the first time that the United States has depended so extensively on contractors to provide security in a hostile environment, although it has previously contracted for more limited security services in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and elsewhere. In Iraq, private firms known as Private Security Contractors (PSCs) serve to protect individuals, transport convoys, forward operating bases, buildings, and other economic infrastructure, and are training Iraqi police and military personnel. By providing security for reconstruction and stabilization efforts, private contractors contribute an essential service to U.S. and international efforts to bring peace to Iraq. Nonetheless, the use of armed contractors raises several concerns, including transparency and accountability. The lack of public information on the terms of the contracts, including their costs and the standards governing hiring and performance, make evaluating their efficiency difficult. The apparent lack of a practical means to hold contractors accountable under U.S. law for abuses and other transgressions, and the possibility that they could be prosecuted by foreign courts, is also a source of concern. This report summarizes what is currently known publicly about companies that provide personnel for security missions in Iraq and some sources of controversy surrounding them. A treatment of legal status and authorities follows, including an overview of relevant international law as well as Iraqi law. The various possible means for prosecuting contractors under U.S. law in civilian or military courts are detailed, followed by a discussion of possible issues for Congress, including whether protective services are inherently governmental functions.
Descriptors : *BEHAVIOR , *IRAQI WAR , *ACCOUNTABILITY , *FEDERAL LAW , *INTERNATIONAL LAW , *SECURITY PERSONNEL , *CONTRACTORS , NONCOMBATANT , STABILIZATION , QUALIFICATIONS , STANDARDS , DEPARTMENT OF STATE , IMMUNITY , POSTWAR OPERATIONS , OVERSEAS , MILITARY LAW , CRIMES , PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT , TRAINING , CORPORATIONS , CONTRACTS , DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE , MILITARY OPERATIONS , COSTS
Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
Personnel Management and Labor Relations
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE