Leadership: Contractors Gone Wild

Archives

July 16, 2009:  Some U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite admonitions from above, and clear instructions to the contrary, continue to try and treat their contractor personnel as troops. Some commanders insist that some of their contractors wear U.S. battle uniforms. By law, contractors are supposed to wear clearly different (from U.S. uniforms) attire, so that they can, according to international law, be easily identified as civilians. The errant commanders like to consider their contractor personnel as additional troops, if only they can be shaped up and disciplined. To this end, some contractor personnel are made to stand (in a military) formation when receiving instructions.

Naturally, this doesn't work on those few contractors who are authorized to handle weapons, as these are almost always former military or police, and know exactly what their status is. These guys tend to be the most disciplined contractors. It's the many without any military experience that can be the most troublesome. Some of these guys try to get weapons, even though they are usually not qualified to use one, and make themselves more of a target to hostile gunmen by carrying one.

All this is more dangerous in Afghanistan, where leaving your base is not as dangerous as it was in Iraq. Military commanders who pay attention, make sure their contractors know the rules, and obey them. But for those contractors who are poorly supervised, and feeling adventurous, the opportunities for misbehavior, and worse, are quite high.

 

 


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close