Contractors on the Battlefield : Walking the Legal Combatant Tightrope ebook ISBN 9781288408412
Understanding the issues facing the US military's use of contractors and how they should be employed in compliance with the laws and customs of armed conflict as documented by The Hague Convention and the 1949 Geneva Conventions is a vital foundation for future wars. No longer are large armies and navies facing off against one another on just a physical battlefield. Due to great leaps forward in technology, a person can be sitting in an office on the opposite side of the globe from where the physical hostilities are taking place and still have the capability to actively engage in combat operations that inflict damage and harm. We have to remain vigilant to ensure the proper rule of war fighting is followed to protect our vital contractors as well as maintaining the moral high ground. This paper explores the history of civilian contractors from the earliest days of the US to current operations as well as the laws and customs of armed conflict. Throughout this time, contractors have been shown to be critical components to the way in which US power is projected around the globe. As technology advance have been brought into the military, there has been an increased reliance on the technical expertise of contractors. This has been compounded by Transformation, weapons systems recapitalization, and a drawdown of the force.