I have a further issue with this. It concerns the attack on Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul on Tuesday. (Well, it was Monday for us).
U.S. probes deadly attack on base in Mosul
At least 22 people reported killed in strike on mess hall
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military launched an investigation Wednesday into the cause of a devastating blast in a mess tent at a base in northern Iraq that killed 22 people and injured 72 in one of the deadliest attacks on American troops since the start of the war.
for additional details.
Originally Posted by Volcana
If I understand your arguement correctly, you're saying that 'civilians contractors' are doing jobs that, in previous wars, were done by people we called 'mercenaries'. Support structure stuff.
Originally Posted by Barrie_Dude
Yeah, they are... but I think that the distinction is important for legal, moral, and security reasons...
I DON'T think there's a legal or moral distinction. The guy who drives the wagon with the food supply has always been a legitemate target in war. However, I think there IS a serious security problem, a view I am not alone in holding.
Several experts noted that insurgents appear to have acted on accurate intelligence. Kalev Sepp, a former Special Forces counterinsurgency expert who recently returned from Iraq, noted that the attack "was carried out in daylight against the largest facility on the base, at exactly the time when the largest number of soldiers would be present."
"This combination of evidence indicates a good probability that the attack was well-planned and professionally executed," Sepp said.
A byproduct of such a strike is that it tends to drive a wedge between U.S. personnel and the Iraqis who work on the base. "I think that this tells us first that our base facilities are totally infiltrated by insiders who are passing the word on when and where we are most vulnerable to attack," said retired Marine Col. Edward Badolato, a security expert.
- MSNBC - graph 13-15
I suspect this is because there IS a difference between 'mercenaries' and 'civilian contractors', but the difference isn't in job function. It's in the hiring process.
A mercenary company has it's own vetting process. And it exists as a unit over time. So you can't easily infiltrate it effectively. That particular mercenary company may not be called to operate anywhere where your infiltrator does any good.
When you hire locals, there's always the problem of insurgents targetting collaborators.
We've actually added a third problems in Iraq. We're hiring damn near anyone who shows up from all over the world to drive trucks, work in mess halls, work in oil fields etc. And the US military isn't handling the vetting process, Halliburton is. Now consider we KNOW 'foreign fighters' are coming to Iraq from all over the globe to fight us. There's at least a good possibility we're actually paying
people to spot target for the insurgents.
And, as I said, ths fact has already occurred to the CoW forces, but nobody's providing the additional troops necessary to replace those 'civilian contractors'. In fact, we don't have enough 'gun-carriers'. Replacing hireling support troops with them is just not an option.
But security-wise, I think the heavy use of 'civilian contractors' is proving unworkable in an occupation situation. I suspect it worked much better during the invasion of country and overthrow of the government.