As a result of the menacing inhumane crimes of rogue members of the now notorious private security contractors like Blackwater, DynCorp International and ArmorGroup North America, legislation was introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives late last month that would remove private contractors in war zones.
“The American people have always prided themselves on the strength, conduct, and honor of our United States military. I therefore find it very disturbing that now, in the midst of two wars and a global struggle against terrorism, we are relying more and more on private security contractors – rather than our own service members – to provide for our national defense,” Senator Bernie Sanders, the bill’s cosponsor, said at a Capitol Hill press conference.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, also a cosponsor, said, “The behavior of private contractors has endangered our military, hurt relationships with foreign governments, and undermined our missions overseas.”
The Stop Outsourcing Security Act would restore the responsibility of the American military to train troops and police, guard convoys, repair weapons, administer military prisons, and perform military intelligence. The bill also would require that all diplomatic security be undertaken by U.S. government personnel. Military officers in the field have said contractors operate like “cowboys,” using unnecessary and excessive force uncharacteristic of enlisted soldiers. Section Two of the act finds that these private security contractors operate outside the military chain of command and have a history of irresponsible and even criminal behavior.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated Blackwater’s employment practices and found that the company classified security guards in a way that may have allowed the firm to skirt paying Social Security, Medicare, and Federal income taxes.