By Gerry Schumacher, Steve Gansen
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Additional resources for A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq
There was no support anywhere within the United Nations. “The world may not be ready to privatize peace,” Annan concluded. The United Nations has been reluctant to employ private contractors to resolve international security issues. Such considerations have frequently been labeled as immoral. However, their reluctance begs the question: Is it moral to do nothing? The morality of employing private contractors, or the lack thereof, is succinctly summed up in an article by David Shearer, in which he states, “There is a serious question here: if a private force, operating with international authority and within international law, can protect civilians, how moral is it to deny people protection just because states can’t or won’t find the forces to do it?
High-tech gear is placed in the hands of the military years before the Department of Defense can develop the training programs to provide the required maintenance experts. Contractors are hired in droves to keep these critical battlefield devices operating. They live and work with the military units they support. There is constant pressure to reduce turnaround time on broken equipment. Increasingly, they are brought farther forward on the battlefield. The idea is to fix and repair as close to the user as possible.
They are training national police forces, military units, and paramilitary operatives. The contractors are, for the most part, former Green Berets, Navy Seals, retired intelligence agency personnel, and police officers. Some are pilots and others are handlers for tracking dogs. S. foreign policy. S. and international standards. Although they are directed to avoid direct combat, it is impossible for them to maintain a noncombatant posture if their personal safety is threatened. Sometimes firing in self defense is a necessary evil of the job.