Wow, I caught this over at Private Military Herald, and thought it to be pretty cool. Rep. David Price is introducing some legislation that I think is fantastic. And please read below what his intentions are, because this is from his personal blog. His goal is not to shut us down, his goal is to find ways to better manage this industry, so we can go out there and do great things for this country and even for this world. Just read this passage from below, and tell me that isn’t motivating?
As pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have surged, private vessels have increasingly sought protection from security contractors. As the U.S. presence surges in Afghanistan, experts expect the presence of security contractors to surge as well. And, as we struggle to confront genocide in Darfur, many have suggested using private contractors in place of U.S. or international troops. It is critical that we have a regulatory regime in place to effectively manage and oversee security contractors now and in the future – whether in Afghanistan, Sudan, or on the high seas – and that’s why I recently reintroduced my Transparency and Accountability in Security Contracting Act (H.R. 2177).
That doesn’t sound like ‘PMC’s are not legitimate forces’ crazy talk or ‘abolish the bloodthirsty mercenaries’ talk, this actually sounds like…gulp…. should I say it? Acceptance? Oh say it isn’t so, and Max Weber is certainly rolling in his grave right now. lol
Seriously though, I think this is great and let’s see if it passes. In the comments section, I also mentioned that Incident Command would be a good one to throw in there as well, because then that would give us the ability to interact better in disaster relief operations nationally. PSC’s and PMC’s could also be registered in the Federal databases for disaster relief or national security related issues for that matter. I brought up the example of the Katrina Hurricane, and how PSC’s and PMC’s could have used Incident Command, but didn’t because it wasn’t mandated. That if we were following the 2004 DHS mandate about such things, that effort could have been more organized and more efficient, which absolutely equates to saving lives when time is everything in those types of incidents.
I also brought up the Federal Fire Services here in the US, and how they have organized and standardized fire fighting protocols for both the federal agencies and private industries involved. I have talked about that here on FJ before, and this would be one way to implement the legislation outlined below. If any aides for Rep. Price are reading this, please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more, or use the search feature on FJ. –Matt
Better Oversight on Private Security Contractors (Rep. David Price)
May 1st, 2009
When I first started working to improve management and oversight of Private Security Contractors (PSCs) in 2004, observers described Iraq as a Wild West – a place where PSCs could shoot up buildings and people without any law enforcement in sight. Indeed, between 2004 and 2007, there were numerous incidents in which rogue contractors attacked innocent civilians without any repercussion. The infamous 2007 incident in which Blackwater contractors killed 17 civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square was the shocking coda to this era.