Minding the Liability Gap: American Contractors, Iraq, and the Outsourcing of Impunity

With the proliferation of the U.S. military’s reliance on contractors as a means of supplementing – and not just supplying – the troops on the ground, serious questions have arisen with respect to the legal regime governing the contractors’ conduct. The legal regime that governs those contractors is at best unclear, given the contractors generally fall outside the auspcies of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. My focus is on the accountability of the U.S. government for the actions of their private contractors. In Part II, I discuss the necessity and importantce of a civil right of action in these cases. Part III will examine the era of privatization and rise of the private contractor in the War on Terror. Part IV demonstrates the lack of accountability for U.S.-directed contractor abuse under current law. Finally, in Part V, I examine mechanism for minding the liability gap between the rights of the abused and the liability of those ultimately responsible.

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