(CN) – The Obama administration proposes to rein in the operations of private security contractors conducting operations in combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan through rules that make the military largely responsible for their actions.
The proposed rules would only allow security contractors to be armed after a case-by-case review by the staff of the Judge Advocate General, and the approval of a flag officer, and in compliance with the laws of the host country. Contractors must prove that they have received training regarding rules for the use of force, the distinction between the rules of engagement applicable to military forces and the use of weapons by civilians, and the Law of Armed Conflict.
In addition, the rules restrict security contractors to a defensive posture limited to direct response to hostile activity or hostile intent. The military will create a reporting and disciplinary procedure to investigate any incidents of force used by contractors and to generally review their performance.
The proposed rules do not apply to contractors engaged by the U.S. intelligence community for intelligence operations and support.