On Private Security Contractors (PSC's)
Much has been said and written of late about Private Security Contractors, especially in the Iraq theater. Following are some observations that I have noted, and would like to share with the readers.
First, What Blackwater and other PSC's do, once was done by the U.S. Marines. The previous administration, (Bill, Hillary and Monica), felt that there were many menial tasks performed by our military that could be better done by privatization. One of these was the burden of guarding State Department personnel in foreign countries. Blackwater jumped on this new way to employ their services. Good for them!
Blackwater is not the only one doing this in Iraq, nor is the US of A the only country that these PSC's come from. There are British, Aussie, New Zealander, and even Arabian countries doing PSC contract work in Iraq. One such company, (not Blackwater USA), even gave PSC's quite a bit of infamy, due to a widely viewed video of them shooting innocent motorists as they escorted a convoy. While the employees responsible for this were fired and deported; it did manage to bring a black eye to the whole PSC industry. Blackwaters disastrous event in Fallujah brought even more negative publicity to the PSC's.
I have noticed that there is much crying and wailing about how long this war has been "drug out". Given this much time; wouldn't you think that every Iraqi driver has learned that to approach an escorted convoy, to rush a checkpoint, was certain to invite death? In the Sept 16th or was it 17th incident, Blackwater has been accused of needlessly shooting innocents. In Iraq, how do you recognize an innocent? Women and children wear bombs, drive bomb-laden vehicles, right along with the suicidal jihadi male. To aggress these convoys does not necessarily mean to shoot at them. When in a country that every vehicle, every donkey, every pedestrian is a potential bomb; aggression can be seen as just driving up on the convoy too fast. As best I know, the jihadis have not yet begun to mark their bombs and bombers with Hazmat signage.
For all that they are accused of; Blackwater USA has never had a client shot, blown up or kidnapped. While that fact would not excuse their actions, it does say that they are effective. These contractor employees know full well that they are in a dangerous job, doing exacting work, and that they can be fired as easy as being killed. They have much better things to do with their time than take potshots at innocent Iraqis. They fully realize that this sort of recklessness will make them targets throughout the country, and further endanger them and their co-workers.
As for the price that they are paid, it is much less than the military pricetag would be for the same service; if they could even do it as effect ively. And the military couldn't do it because of the bureaucratic spagetti that they'd have to wade through to even start the convoy moving.
The press and other uninformed types choose to call them "Mercenaries". There is no definition of the word that describes the PSC. None! These highly skilled sorts have chosen to put their life on the line in defense of others both for the wages and for patriotism. These guys do a very demanding job, very well. This is, after all, a War Zone children! There are bad guys, bad women, and yes, bad children. They carry bombs, they hide bombers, they do not tell the PSC where his threat is hiding.
Blackwater USA and other PSC's are accused of "luring" military types out of the service and over to their side. Doesn't every major company in the US of A do the same thing? Haven't heard any bitching because Boeing Aerospace lures a jet jockey out of the service to work for them.
I think that any contractor who would kill wantonly, without provocation is a threat to his convoy, to the US of A, and to his fellow contractors and should be immediately fired and charged. Contractors do not need anyone to cause more hatred than they are already under. I think that you should do your best to learn all sides of the issue, even meet a contractor, his wife, and his kids. They are no different that your other neighbors, your soldier down the street, or the cop on the block. A job was offered, he took it, and is doing his best to do the job the best way he knows how.
And for all the protestors of the PSC's, as well as those who protest our military, I can only say: "Suck it up, they are doing something that is far more dangerous than whatever it is that you do."