The use of contractors in the military has helped the united to save on the costs and improved efficiency in the battlefields. This may be a benefit in terms of saving cost, but the disadvantage lies in the battlefield the place where these contractors are involved.
Most of the contractors are not properly trained and create a number of significant problems from tactical to strategic. Most of these contractors are hired in a hurry and the government has limited time in assessing the individuals it is deploying on the ground. Many of this contactors end up losing their lives in the battlefield for instance in Afghanistan where 25% of them were killed and 40,000 wounded. Advanced training of the US army is very expensive and the government is not willing to do this on the contractor. The United States military utilizes major exercise and combat experienced staffs to find out if the units are well trained, and this is something contractors don’t do. The contractors can end be used for violation of human right as it were in Iraq. The Pentagon has no control over the contractors while in the field. For instance, contractors in Iraq were given deadly weapons to use in its name while in Iraq; this caused a lot of causalities to civilians the contractors do not fear this as they know that they are no legal procedure under which they can be prosecuted.
Notably, for the United States to mitigate some of the problems regarding the use contractors, the Pentagon should strategically consider the morality of using contractors. Additionally, United States should focus on recruiting more soldiers while focusing on ways of cutting the costs within the military to avoid recruiting of contractor’s in future.
The paper has focused on the use of contractors during the war. But with highlighted disadvantages, the United States should rethink again and come up with strategies necessary to reduce over-reliance of contractors.
National Defense University. Strategic Forum Paper #260, “Private Contractors in Conflict Zones: The Good, The Bad and the Strategic Impact,” by Col. (Ret) T. X. Hammes, 8 September 2010. This is not copyrighted; used with permission. CGSC copyright registration #15-0475 E.