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Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings

August 11th, 2007 . by TexasFred

(AP) - There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers - and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks.

They operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. And as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war, this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys.

Not one has faced charges or prosecution.

There is great confusion among legal experts and military officials about what laws - if any - apply to Americans in this force of at least 48,000.

Yes, there are a lot of private contractors in Iraq, the military doesn’t do a damn thing to take care of itself any more, they have private corporations doing the cooking, cleaning, washing and God only knows what else, I don’t know if it’s cheaper that way or just easier but contractors in a war zone are a way of life now a days, and mercenary forces are going to be a part OF that private force too, it is unavoidable…

“this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys”, I know some of these operators that are working as private agents in Iraq and they HAVE shot some supposed Iraqis that approached too closely the convoys or personnel they are there to protect, that’s their job, it’s what they are being paid to do, but to think that they would be so stupid as to fire on American forces is the most ridiculous claim I have ever heard, they KNOW, our guys shoot back and other than the accusation made by the AP writer, I see NO citation backing up the accusation that contractors have fired on American troops…

They operate in a decidedly gray legal area. Unlike soldiers, they are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Under a special provision secured by American-occupying forces, they are exempt from prosecution by Iraqis for crimes committed there.

The security firms insist their employees are governed by internal conduct rules and by use-of-force protocols established by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. occupation government that ruled Iraq for 14 months following the invasion.

The private guys do have a set of rules, and those rules are decidedly different from the UCMJ that our troops adhere to, and in most cases they try to follow those guidelines I am sure, but when the rounds start going off, all bets are off too, these guys aren’t taking bullshit from anyone, they are not there to be ‘peacemakers’, they aren’t diplomats, they are mercenaries, plain and simple, hired guns, there is NO nice way to say it, they are mercs and they WILL get the job done…

“They operate in a decidedly gray legal area. Unlike soldiers, they are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”, yes they do, and they are under contract to the Iraqi government and operate under THEIR laws, not the UCMJ or U.S. laws and as such they operate under a whole different set of circumstances, that’s why they have the effectiveness they do, maybe the DoD should consider privatizing Iraq, it would be fought much more efficiently if the U.S. government got out of it and let those not so politically correct take care of business as it should be…

I’m going to tell you folks something that most of the milbloggers either are too scared to tell you, don’t know about or are just not willing to admit, once you leave the confines of the wire, once you’re out of the Green Zone and out in the countryside, it’s a lot closer to being in the old west, circa the 1870’s to the early 1900’s than anything you can imagine, the main difference is, the weapons are better, that is the biggest difference, you’re still in ‘Indian Territory’ and they are still trying to kick your ass…

The private contractors are the ‘gunslingers’ of the old west and the Army is the modern day cavalry, and they both will get the job done, in their own way, and eventually Iraq will be settled, or the battle will continue, at least for the private contractors, their motivation is MONEY, lots and lots of money…

But many soldiers on the ground - who earn in a year what private guards can earn in just one month - say their private counterparts should answer to a higher authority, just as they do. More than 60 U.S. soldiers in Iraq have been court-martialed on murder-related charges involving Iraqi citizens.

And here lies the biggest gripe, our own military…

Private contractors make more per year than most General Officers with none of the headaches or political ass kissing the brass has to do, and they operate under a much more relaxed set of ROE’s, jealousy plays into this equation in my opinion, but if the Army wants the mercs out, have the Iraqis change their laws, and then send the mercs home, but before you do that, you had better consider the consequences of what it means to lose all those friendly guns and the men behind them…

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Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings

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2 Responses to “Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings”

  1. comment number 1 by: GUYK

    it sounds like some more unsubstantiated left wing crap to me.

    A merc is a merc. One loyalty and that is to the sumbitch that pays the money. And the only two rules to follow..money in the bank and get out alive to spend it. If it means blowing away a village full of civilians to survive then somebody better bring a lot of body bags.

  2. comment number 2 by: Basti

    I knew some ‘merc’s’ a long time back and a better group of ’stone cold killers’ can’t be found. ‘Merc’s’ do the dirty work that national armies have become to civilized and pc to do and they earn their high rates of pay.