Remove Private Security Firms From Iraq and Afghanistan

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Target: Chuck Hagel, United States Secretary of Defense

Goal: End the presence of private security and military companies in Iraq and Afghanistan

Despite the United States claiming to have pulled troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, there are still private security and military companies (PSMCs) hired by the United States operating in those countries.  Although private military companies help save the lives of enlisted United States soldiers, there are still many downsides to their deployment.

The major problem with private military companies is their lack of accountability and in turn, the notable instances of them committing heinous human rights violations.  With the formation of states and the creation of national militaries during the sixteenth century, states accepted the fact that they were responsible for the actions of their armed forces and were required to punish personnel for violations of human rights or international law.  In the case of PSMCs it is rather unclear who accepts responsibility for acts that violate humanitarian laws.  This lack of regulation and accountability is dangerous and allows employees of private security companies to act at their own discretion when completing a job.  Unfortunately recent history has shown that there is minimal hesitance on the part of PSMCs to break human rights laws.  A prime example of this occurred at Abu Ghraib, a United States detention center in Iraq.  Private companies L-3 and CACI were hired by the United States government to run interrogation and translation services at the Abu Ghraib facility.  As well as providing their interrogation and translation services, L-3 and CACI employees were found guilty of torturing detainees.

All forms of military and security personnel should be removed from Iraq and Afghanistan because that is the first step in reducing violence in the regions.  The United States government should not claim to be pulling out troops while at the same time spending taxpayers’ money to hire private security companies that pose a serious threat to the human rights of civilians and/or detainees.


Dear Secretary Hagel,

The presence of private military companies in Iraq and Afghanistan poses a threat to the safety and human rights of civilians in the area.  Please stop spending taxpayer dollars to hire private security companies while telling the public that the United States is moving out the region.  PSMCs are dangerous because they lack a sense of accountability and responsibility, and there are multiple instances of them committing cruel and disgusting human rights violations.  The first step to ending violence in these countries is to remove both public and private United States military and security personnel.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jaimiecat via Flickr

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