CONTRACTORS OR ILLEGAL COMBATANTS? THE STATUS OF ARMED CONTRACTORS IN IRAQ

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CONTRACTORS OR ILLEGAL COMBATANTS? THE STATUS OF ARMED CONTRACTORS IN IRAQ Powered By Docstoc
					CONTRACTORS OR ILLEGAL COMBATANTS? THE STATUS OF ARMED CONT
				
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Description: Prior to the second Gulf War, military regulations limited contractors from being armed except in extreme situations, and only then did regulations permit them to carry sidearms.10 These restrictions were fueled by concerns that armed contractors could lose their non-combatant status and become targets of attack.11 Despite the concerns about the status of contractors, the second Gulf War saw not only an expansion of the number of contractors per soldier, but also, for the first time, PMF personnel fought in tactical engagements alongside U.S. Soldiers.12 Although exact figures are not available, it is estimated that there are currently between twenty thousand and thirty thousand armed PMF personnel operating hi Iraq.13 U.S. military figures reveal that the military alone has 6000 armed private security guards under contract.14 PMF personnel in Iraq come from over 100 different firms operating in Iraq.15 One firm, Global Risk security, Ltd., has 1100 employees in Iraq, including 500 Nepalese Ghurkas and 500 Fijians.16 When compared to contributions of nations participating in the Coalition during the invasion, this firm alone constitutes the sixth largest supplier of soldiers.17 As the conflict in Iraq continues, the role PMFs play has only increased.
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