Document Type

Article

Abstract

“Putting mercy back in mercenary” became the slogan of Blackwater Worldwide after harsh criticism from the media tarnished their image. Blackwater is just one example of a private firm working for the US government. The War in Iraq that began in 2003 had for the first time, contractors performing security functions for military men in an unstable environment (Elsea). Given the heightened reliance on PSCs from the Department of State and Department of Defense, the US government has taken on the burden of establishing regulations to govern their actions and hold them accountable. On September 16, 2007, Blackwater security personnel working for the State Department opened fire at Nisour Square in Baghdad killing 17 Iraqi civilians causing the effectiveness of US oversight to come into immediate question. What protocol was in place to prevent such an abuse of power, who established accountability, and where were the US supervisors? It appeared that PSCs working for the State Department were answerable to no one. It became apparent that the United States had failed to provide adequate oversight for State Department private security contractors in Iraq.

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