Accession Number:



Considerations for the Use of Private Security Contractors in Future U.S. Military Deployments

Descriptive Note:

Congressional testimony

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This testimony by Dr. Molly Dunigan, The RAND Corporation, before the Commission on Wartime Contracting presents the results of The RAND study, titled Hired Guns Views About Armed Contractors in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This study draws upon surveys of U.S. military and State Department personnel who were deployed to Iraq in the 2003 to 2008 time period. A total of 249 U.S. military and 892 State Department personnel participated in these surveys, enabling us to glean a rare quantitative picture of these actors perceptions of their private security counterparts. While not focusing specifically on the questions of whether and what types of private security contracting constitutes inherently governmental functions, the study does describe perceptions of government employees about the roles PSCs played in Iraq in the 2003 to 2008 time period. Of particular relevance are four questions explored in the study First, to what extent do military and diplomatic personnel perceive PSC behavior to have a negative impact on Iraqi civilians Second, is there a lack of unit cohesion and systematic coordination between PSCs and the military Third, do PSCs provide skills and services that the armed forces lack And fourth, do PSCs provide vital surge capacity and critical security services that have made the Iraq operation possible The results of these surveys are as follows 1 Most Military and Diplomatic Personnel Do Not View Armed Contractors as Running Wild in Iraq, but a Considerable Number of Both Groups Do Report Troubling Incidents Involving Poor PSC Behavior Toward Iraqi Civilians 2 Systematic Coordination between Private Security Contractors and the Military is Lacking 3 Military and Diplomatic Personnel Tend to View Armed Contractors as Providing Valuable Skills and 4 Military and Diplomatic Personnel Also Tend to View Armed Contractors as Providing Necessary Surge Capacity and Critical Security Services.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: