This unique and informative paper was produced by the National Intelligence University / National Defense Intelligence College. Topics and subjects include: private military companies, Executive Outcomes (EO), Sandline International, military professional resources, Pinkerton, privatized personnel security investigations, Indian Wars, Indian Scouts, NextView, Project Clearview, commercial remote sensing, Abu Ghraib, War on Terror.
The Abu Ghraib prison scandal cast a spotlight on the use of contractors to perform functions normally associated with military personnel, and all the contracting, control, discipline, and training issues associated therewith. The sometimes-overheated rhetoric of the press created an impression that the use of contractor personnel to perform functions traditionally considered to be the realm of uniformed personnel was something new and extraordinary. It is neither, though the number of intelligence-related functions performed by contractors during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan may, indeed, be unprecedented.
The extensive use of contractor personnel to augment military intelligence operations is now an established fact of life and, occasional contracting "scandals" notwithstanding, any effective and efficient design for intelligence support to operating forces must provide for their use. The civilian sector can respond to rapidly changing requirements of the Global War on Terror with flexibility and speed that the government sector does not possess. And, in a number of cases, the civilian sector possesses technology, equipment, and technological know-how that the government sector could not acquire in any reasonable amount of time. Add to this the problem of end-strength limitations and recruiting and retention problems, and it is apparent that contractors are a permanent part of the intelligence landscape. But this dependence on contractors comes with its own set of problems, most of which stem from inadequate planning and from lack of training of deployed uniformed personnel in the intricacies of contracting for and administering contractor personnel.
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