Legislation Introduced to Remove Private Military Contractors From WarsJan 23rd, 2010 | By Main Contributor | Category: Afghanistan
The use of private contractors has surged under the Obama administration. Private military contractors now account for between 22% and 30% of the total U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Military contractors are often paid 4 to 5 times what the U.S. pays its own military, which dramatically increases the cost of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Removing military contractors from the wars would save needed monetary resources. The changes would also shift responsibility for the wars back to the military and ensure greater oversight over military operations.
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson will introduce legislation that would de-fund private contractors who engage in illegal or unethical behavior like Blackwater. Contractors are already “barred by DOD regulations from taking part in ‘offensive’ operations,” but regularly take part in offensive operations despite the ban. Contractors like Blackwater have been involved in several bloody acts of violence against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of private contractors has tarnished the image of the U.S. abroad and put our security goals in Iraq and Afghanistan at risk.
Also introduced by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) was the Stop Outsourcing Security Act. The legislation would take inherently governmental functions away from private contractors and put them back into the hands of the military. It is believed by the lawmakers that carrying weapons on behalf of the U.S. government should be restricted to the U.S. military.
The Stop Outsourcing Security Act would take vital military functions out of the hands of contractors, reducing our reliance on unaccountable private security contractors in the theater of battle. The S.O.S. Act would not phase-out the hundreds of thousands of contractors providing non-military support services for the Armed Forces.