Contractors as Military Professionals?
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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As of 2008, nearly 200,000 private contractors supported or supplemented military operations in Iraq, with about 30,000 of them providing security services. Today, civilian contractors working for the Pentagon outnumber uniformed forces in Afghanistan. Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, the private security industrys trade organization, suggests that the booming private security industry is here to stay. Nations have employed civilian contractors to fulfill combat and combat support functions throughout history. But alarming to many observers is the rapid rise of a largely un- or under- controlled industry from less than 15 percent of contractors among the Department of Defenses workforce during World War II to more than 60 percent currently in Afghanistan. 3 Security contractors often work side-by-side with soldiers and sometimes take on roles traditionally performed by the military. Is the use of contractors compatible with the strong and pervasive professional military ethos What are the motivations, values, and attitudes of individuals who sign on with private security firms Do they share norms, behavioral codes, and a professional identity How do contractors view their professional status and relationship with traditional military forces How do military members view contractors
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