Contractors in War Zones Are Bane of U.S. Forces (Rep. Keith Ellison)

The continued use of private security contractors in Iraq undermines the reputation of America and American men and women in uniform.


Stories of "cowboy contractors" recklessly shooting and assaulting innocent Iraqis troubles me deeply. The story about one Blackwater contractor who allegedly murdered an Iraqi security guard is deeply disturbing. He is a free man today, and will never see the inside of a courtroom for his crime. The time has come to stop using private security contractors in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.


I am proud to co-sponsor a bill introduced by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky that would phase out the use of private security contractors wherever Congress has authorized the use of force, including Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq.


The bill, dubbed the Stop Outsourcing Security (S.O.S.) Act, would phase-out privately contracted diplomatic security within six months of enactment. These functions will instead be undertaken by U.S. government personnel, allowing Americans to do their jobs without having to rely on unaccountable security contractors.