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Private contractors in conflict zones : the good, the bad, and the strategic impact

Author: Thomas X Hammes; National Defense University. Center for Strategic Research.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Center for Strategic Research, [2010]
Series: Strategic forum, no. 260.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The United States has hired record numbers of contractors to serve in the conflict zones of Iraq and Afghanistan but has not seriously examined their strategic impact. There are clearly advantages to using contractors in conflict zones, but they have three inherent characteristics that have serious negative effects during counterinsurgency operations. We cannot effectively control the quality of the contractors or  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Hammes, Thomas X.
Private contractors in conflict zones
(OCoLC)689033452
Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas X Hammes; National Defense University. Center for Strategic Research.
OCLC Number: 676847527
Notes: Title from title screen (viewed Nov. 1, 2010).
"November 2010."
Description: 1 online resource (16 pages).
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Series Title: Strategic forum, no. 260.
Responsibility: by T.X. Hammes.

Abstract:

The United States has hired record numbers of contractors to serve in the conflict zones of Iraq and Afghanistan but has not seriously examined their strategic impact. There are clearly advantages to using contractors in conflict zones, but they have three inherent characteristics that have serious negative effects during counterinsurgency operations. We cannot effectively control the quality of the contractors or control their actions, but the population holds us responsible for everything the contractors do, or fail to do. Contractors compete with the host government for a limited pool of qualified personnel and dramatically change local power structures. Contractors reduce the political capital necessary to commit U.S. forces to war, impact the legitimacy of a counterinsurgency effort, and reduce its the perceived morality. These factors attack our nation's critical vulnerability in an irregular war - the political will of the American people.

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