There are private military companies (PMC) which are businesses with a corporate
structure who p...
claim to work as much out of patriotism as for financial gain. Some firms
       specialize in protecting personnel and pr...
U.S. bases abroad who become victims of crimes committed by contractors with
        effective immunity of prosecution.

Contractors who are injured or disabled in the Iraq war zone are treated in military
hospitals in Iraq and Germany and onc...
                    ‫كن ناجيا وليس ضحية‬
                   CRISIS RESPONSE IN IRAQ
there is the perception that the Veterans of Iraq are not getting the assistance they need
when they return home. The cont...

Brooks, D. (2005). Interview Doug Brooks, June 21, 2005, Frontline: PBS,
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Private Military Contractors Role In Iraq March Updated Revision For Publication


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Private Military Contractors are not Mercenaries in Iraq

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Private Military Contractors Role In Iraq March Updated Revision For Publication

  1. 1. PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS ROLE IN IRAQ PRESENTED TO : THE CENTRE D’HISTOIRE ET DE PROSPECTIVE MILITAIRE Centre General Guisan , av. General Guisan 117-119, 109 Pully, Switzerland FEBRUARY 29, 2008 Vincent J. McNally MPS, CEAP, FAAETS TRAUMAREDUCTION@AOL.COM INTRODUCTION I had retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2002 after 31 years of service, and here I was at my summer lake house in northern Quebec, Canada taking it easy in the summer of 2004. I was outside of my chalet and my wife told me that there was a person on my cell phone from the Department of Justice (DOJ) so I took the call and was asked if I would be able to go to Iraq and teach Iraqi police in the “Green Zone.” To this day I do not know exactly how they got my name. Anyway, I needed some time to think it over so I told the gentleman I would call him back. Here I am, I thought, having a great retirement. I had torn down my old chalet in Canada and had a new one built. I had started my own company as a consultant to emergency services specializing in trauma and stress, and both my daughters were married and everything was going great! Why go to Iraq as a contractor and put myself in harm’s way? I had served in the Navy in Vietnam as a Naval Investigator, had completed a career with the FBI, and now I had just started to learn golf. So, should I go and help teach the Iraqi police? Yes, I thought I should go to Iraq and my reasoning was that it was only a six month contract and would be a challenge and an adventure. I was slightly bored as my consultant business was rather slow, and maybe I could do some research on trauma and stress and help those in Iraq in my spare time. More importantly my patriotism for the United States and destruction and the resulting death that I personally observed at the World Trade Centers in New York City prompted me to help out, and this was the way to do it! As I was getting older and not qualified for military or police work this would be my last chance to make a difference. I asked my wife her thoughts and she stated she would support my decision. So off I went, first to training for a week in Virginia which covered our duties and assignments, firearms re-certification, cultural awareness and safety issues and then directly to Iraq. I worked as an International Police Trainer (IPT) with the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT) operating under the auspices of the Multi-National Forces- Iraq. The International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) of the U.S. Department of Justice continues to fund this training. The original contractor was SAIC and then MPRI took over the contract during my tenure in Iraq. This paper will explore the role of the contractor in Iraq based on my experiences and will also explore the trauma inflicted on Iraqi police, contractors and soldiers which I witnessed during my tenure in Iraq.
  2. 2. WHO ARE THE CONTRACTORS? There are private military companies (PMC) which are businesses with a corporate structure who provide services for a profit rather than specifically for a political reason. (DCAF Backgrounders: Private Military Contractors 04/2006) PMC has many names as evidenced below (Wikipedia: Private Military Company, May 2007): -Military Service Provider -Private Military Corporations -Security Contractors -Private Military Industries -Private Military Firms PMCs have been in existence in the U.S. Government since the beginning of American history. George Washington, the first President, had “private people who would support, fix boots or muskets or whatever, or privateers, which was the form of naval action in the 18th, 19th centuries where you would give merchant ships license to attack the merchant shipping of the enemy state” (Brooks, 2005). What is the difference between a private military company and a defense contractor? The PMC provide personnel with specific expertise in operational or tactical skills which may include combat experience whereas a defense contractor provides the hardware and personnel to support the hardware (Wikipedia: Private Military Company, May 2007). The purpose of the PMC is to support the troops and this may be in the following areas (Miller, 2007): • CONSTRUCTION • SECURITY • WEAPON MAINTENANCE • TRAINING AND TRANSLATORS • LOGISTIC SUPPORT AND PLANNING As of July 4, 2007 there were more contractors (180,000) in Iraq than United States troops: (Miller 2007) - 21,000 American - 43,000 Foreigners -118,000 Iraqis CONTRACTOR OR MERCENARY? The battlefield contractor is considered a corporate soldier in Iraq in an outsourced, commercial and privatized war (Global Security, 2005). Doug Brooks, President of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) stated that: How do we differentiate their role as that of a contractor or a mercenary? Sometimes the two are used interchangeably. The term mercenary denotes those who work solely for personal gain. The American private security contractors
  3. 3. claim to work as much out of patriotism as for financial gain. Some firms specialize in protecting personnel and property as opposed to engaging in combat activities identify themselves as private security contractors (Brooks, 2005) Peter Singer, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, indicates that, “private military firms are businesses that provide governments with professional services intricately linked to warfare; they represent, in other words, the corporate evolution of the age-old profession of mercenaries.” (Singer, 2005) Thus the definition of mercenary and contractor becomes slightly blurred in Iraq, and in my experience I never once heard the term mercenary referred to any contractor while in Iraq whether it was a security detail or a support operation. International law as defined by the 1949 Geneva conventions distinguishes between military and civilians: Contractors are considered to be civilians authorized to accompany the force in the field. As such they cannot be the intentional object of military attack. They are however often at a greater risk of becoming “collateral damage” because of their frequent presence in or near military targets, such as army bases. Contractors may lose their legal protection if they are used in direct military operations; in such cases they would become subject to direct attack so long as they directly participated in the hostilities (Human Rights Watch, 2006). Further, the 1949 Third Geneva Convention adds a category called supply contractors as it does not differentiate between a defense contractor and a PMC. If the supply contractor is captured with a valid identity card issued by the military that they accompany then they can be considered as a prisoner of war defined under Article 4.1.4. The contractor is classified as a mercenary if he/she is engaging in combat under the 1997 Protocol I Additional to the Third Geneva Conventions (Wikipedia: Private Military Companies, 2007). Does an American contractor in Iraq operate outside the reach of the law? If so, this would certainly fall in line with mercenary activity. However, the American contractor in Iraq is subject to United States Federal law (Human Rights Watch, 2006): • 1. U.S. WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1996 (18 USC 2441) Act defines as war crime as any breach of 1949 Geneva Convention such as torture is inhumane treatment or any violation of common article 3 of the Geneva Convention (outrages upon the personal dignity and humiliating or degrading treatment). Penalties include fines, prison or death penalty • 2. FEDERAL ANTI-TORTURE STATUTE (18 USC 2340) Prohibits torture by anyone who commits torture outside the U.S.. Penalties include imprisonment and up to the death penalty. • 3. MILITARY EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION ACT OF 2000 (PUBLIC LAW 106-778) (MEJA) Protects U. S. Soldiers and dependents on
  4. 4. U.S. bases abroad who become victims of crimes committed by contractors with effective immunity of prosecution. There are regulations that every U.S. company has to follow: ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations); FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations); DFAR (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations) and numerous others in addition to five U.S. congressional committees (Brooks, 2005). There is also additional liability under the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice for military contractors (Wikipedia: Private Military Company, 2007): • 1. FY 2007 Defense Budget Appropriations Bill the text of UCMJ was amended by striking “war” and inserting “declared war or contingency operation”. • 2. The language of the law is so broad that it included embedded journalists and contract foreign employees to be liable under U.S. military code. Out of the thousands of private security contractors sent to Iraq there have only been two of these contractors who have been indicted for violence and only one has been convicted. Iraqi officials and Democrats in Congress believe that there should be more indictments and convictions of private security contractors in Iraq (Dreazen, 2007). What is needed is that loopholes must be filled and new laws consolidated for regulations oversight and enforcement. This should be done in the international arena with United States and allies and all countries assisting in Iraq which would ultimately be regulated by the United Nations. Notwithstanding the laws and regulations placed on contractors in Iraq, which certainly are in place to deal with illegal activities in Iraq, I personally did not see or hear of any contractor violations of law while assigned to the “Green Zone.” Also, I believe that the Contractor firms should be held accountable to ensure that the independent contractors that they hire be better screened and trained prior to their assignment. The contractor firm should also be held accountable for providing adequate and timely post-traumatic stress (PTSD) treatment for the sub-contractors return to their homes from the combat zone which is the subject of the next section. CONTRACTORS: HIDDEN CASUALITIES OF THE WAR According to Paul Brand, a psychologist and chief executive of Mission Critical Psychological Services, a Chicago firm hired by DynCorp Corporation, a major contractor in Iraq, to assess and treat its workers, he believes that “the numbers are in the thousands, maybe tens of thousands” for the numbers of contractors leaving Iraq with mental health problems (Risen, 2007). There have been differing statistics for those contractors injured and killed in Iraq (Keteylan and Hirschkorn, 2006 and Risen, 2007): - INJURED: Between 7987 to 13,000 - KILLED: Between 679 to 1000
  5. 5. Contractors who are injured or disabled in the Iraq war zone are treated in military hospitals in Iraq and Germany and once home they are on their own to get care. And unlike the troops they are not routinely screened or evaluated for stress or mental disorders and there are few resources when the workers return home and off the payroll. (Risen, 2007) The trauma may take the form of PTSD or the worse case scenario would be suicide. The statistics for veterans with PTSD is similar to Army combat units (Risen, 2007): • 24% - DYNCORP POLICE TRAINERS AFTER DEPLOYMENT • • 17% - ARMY COMBAT UNITS ONE YEAR AFTER DEPLOYMENT +ALCOHOL + MARITAL + ADJUSTMENT PROBLEMS = 30% Risk of suicide among U.S. veterans is double that of the general population: (2007 National Institute of Mental Health Study) Biggest risks are: ---male ---college educated ---physical activity limitation There are some laws which should assist the contractor with mental or physical injuries upon return home which are administered by the Labor Department (Keteyian and Hirschkorn, 2006): • DEFENSE BASE ACT: U.S. EMPLOYERS INSURE ALL WORKERS SENT TO WORK ON GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS IN HAZARDOUS AREAS OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. • WAR HAZARDS ACT: EMPLOYER’S INSURERS ARE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR PAYMENTS WHEN INJURIES OCCUR AS A RESULT OF HOSTILE ACTION; BULLETS AND BOMBS OPPOSED TO ACCIDENTS Because the contractors in Iraq are not recognized as military veterans they have to figure it out on their own how to get mental health treatment, and the door slams shut when they finish their contract and return home---no help from the employer. I recognized this mental health issue in Iraq and was asked by my contractor (SAIC and MPRI) to provide mandatory lectures when they arrived to provide psychological immunization to the contractors. My lecture title says it all:
  6. 6. BE A SURVIVOR –NOT A VICTIM ‫كن ناجيا وليس ضحية‬ CRISIS RESPONSE IN IRAQ ‫لس زتجابة الى لز زمة في العراق‬ ‫ا ز‬ ‫ا ز‬ & ACUTE TRAUMATIC STRESS MANAGEMENT ‫تدبير ضغط لذ زى الحاد‬ ‫ا ز‬ REACHING PEOPLE EARLY DURINGF:MasterCard.asf • TRAUMATIC EXPOSURE ‫وصول الناس بصورة مبكرة للزز التعرض الى لذ زى‬ ‫ا ز‬ ‫خ‬ VINCENT J. McNALLY, MPS, CEAP McNALLY 790-160-4550 CEAP,MPS, ‫فنسنت جـ.مكنالي‬ 790- 160- 4550 Copyright @2004, Vincent J. McNally, All Rights Reserved I also provided brochures relating to “trauma resiliency” and “Going Home” in addition to providing counseling to the police trainers as well as Iraqi police. Besides training I conducted research and testing on over 500 Iraqi senior police and the results were that 44% had severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Iraqi police were and still are today the main targets of the insurgents who target them daily by bombings and murder. (McNally, 2006) As in the FBI as well as my research proposal for the Iraqi police I believe a full-service program should be afforded the returning contractors who served in Iraq. This program would be modeled after the FBI Employee Assistance Program which I had the opportunity to administer during my tenure. It would include the Employee Assistance Program, Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support Programs which could be a separate entity under the Veterans Administration of the U.S. Government. This program is time tested and would utilize fellow trained U.S. Iraq veteran contractors teamed with appropriate mental health practitioners. If it worked for the FBI it would certainly be an asset to the contractors returning home! (McNally, 1999 and McNally and Solomon, 1999). In summary, the contractors in Iraq are not mercenaries, at least the ones that I met over six months, and they perform admirably with patriotism, and now when they come home they should be treated with dignity and offered assistance when necessary. I spent time assisting the Iraqi police in understanding the concepts and principals of Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation on a daily basis, and I was acutely aware of their post traumatic stress living in a war zone and every day dodging the bullets, car bombs, and mortars to attend class. On the other hand, the contractors I worked with lived in trailers in the Green Zone, Baghdad and also were a target of rocket and mortars on a regular basis. As a Vietnam Navy veteran on the ground in DaNang and Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam I experienced the same conditions of a faceless cowardly non-discriminating enemy who would just launch rockets and mortars hoping to hit us and then running and blending into the population. I realize this time as a contractor I did not have to fight the enemy but this is the tactics of the enemy we face today. The contractors in Iraq are supporting the troops, and should be afforded assistance and support prior, during and after their contract to Iraq. Today
  7. 7. there is the perception that the Veterans of Iraq are not getting the assistance they need when they return home. The contractors generally get no assistance. We owe it to the future of our country to provide adequate and timely mental health assistance to our returning veterans and contractors lest we make the same mistakes of providing inadequate assistance and support as was evidenced by the returning Vietnam veteran. I will end with a quote from one who was severely impacted from his service in Iraq (Keteylan, and Hirschkorn: 2007): CONTRACTORS: SHADOW ARMY OF THE MIDDLE EAST MISLABLED AS MERCENARIES • “America doesn’t know us, because we don’t wear a uniform or carry a weapon. For many contractors, just as soldiers alike, the war doesn’t end just because we come home. We shed silent tears by day and sometimes scream terror by night. We cry for help and sometimes told that there is nothing wrong with us. We are not asking for glory, but only to be remembered. We are American unknown soldier, the American contractor, Operation Iraqi Freedom Vets.” - David “Scout” Meredith, Truck Driver in Iraq, CBS News- November 26, 2006 Vince J. McNally retired in 2002 after 31 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working numerous investigative endeavors including serving as a Crisis (Hostage) Negotiator and police instructor. He was with the FBI’s Employee Assistance Program for 10 years. He served as a police trainer in Iraq during 2004 and 2005 for the Department of Justice. He is currently with Trauma Reduction Inc. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to
  8. 8. REFERENCES: Brooks, D. (2005). Interview Doug Brooks, June 21, 2005, Frontline: PBS, Dreazen, Y. (2007). New Scrutiny for Iraq Contractors. Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2007, p.A4. Global Security. (2005). Mercenary/Private Military Companies (PMCs), April 27, 2005, Human Rights News. (2006) Q&A: Private Military Contractors and the Law (Human Rights Watch, 21-10-2004), Keteylan, A. & Hirschkorn, P. (2006). Civilian Contractors Face Perils in Iraq, November 26, 2006, CBS News, ml. McNally, V.J. (1999). FBI’S Employee Assistance Program: An Advanced Law Enforcement Model. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 1(2), 109-114. McNally, V.J. (2006). The Impact of Posttraumatic Stress on Iraqi Police. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 8(4), 57-64. McNally, V.J., & Solomon, R. (1999). The FBI’s Critical Incident Stress Management Program. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 68(2), 20-26. Miller, T. (2007). Private Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Iraq, July 4, 2007, Los Angeles Times, private4ju04,0,5347984,print.story... Risen, J. (2007). Contractors Back from Iraq Suffer Trauma from Battle, July 5, 2007, The New York Times, ? ei=5088&en=eb98670879c00.. Singer, P. (2005). Outsourcing War, Foreign Affairs, March 1, 2005, page=/pagedefs/22d2d3f4af68ff3e41de0d930a141... Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. (2007). Private Military Company, May 15, 2007,