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Civilian Contractors on the Battlefield - Essay Example

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Civilian Contractors on the Battlefield

The following discussion is going to explore the ethical problems, whilst defining the actual position of a civilian contractor on the battlefield. Also it will consider the security problems in depending on civilian personnel, because there interest is in the monetary value of their service rather than the loyalty and security of a nation4. Therefore this may jeopardize the security of battle planning, because if civilian contractors are working on a business level then if the opposition offered a better business deal then these civilian contractors become a breach in the US military strategy5.
In the first place the role of the civilian contractor can be seen as military personal as the Hague Convention of 1907 allows that other persons can be combatant in a time of war than just military personnel. Therefore under the Geneva Convention these individuals will be afforded the protections as prisoners of war. This means that on the ethical grounds of using contractors on the battlefield, governments such as the USA can legitimately affirm their use. In essence under the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention these individuals are in fact quasi-military, i.e. ...
ercenaries.7 British Human Rights lawyer Helen Kennedy has illustrated that there is vast problems with the USA naming freedom fighters, armed guerrillas who are not part of a state army as terrorists in order to punish them through vengeance ethically and a breach of humanitarian law.
We [the UK] should not be tempted to take the American route There should never be a direct role for victims in punishment. If victims have a direct say in sentencing decisions, how will consistency be achieved between the victim bent on vengeance and the person willing to forgive8
The actions of the US authorities in Guantanamo Bay are an example of a nation of victims having a say in the punishment of possibly innocent people and these victims have no objectivity and mass cruelty and torture is happening. This is happening of civilians that have taken up arms to protect themselves and named terrorists. How does the US government legitimize civilian contractors who are getting paid for there services on one hand, but not freedom fighters on the other The distinction does not make legal or ethical sense, because morally a freedom fighter has a better argument for their actions and to become a war prisoner protected under the Geneva Convention than does the civilian contractor.9
Finally, the security issues that the uses of civilian contractors raise are vast. In the first instance is a contractor is being highly paid there are business reasons for their use on the battlefield.10 Therefore is it not conceivably possible that if the contractor is offered a higher price on the opposition, the needs of the business and money outweigh loyalty Secondly, there is the possibility that there will be infiltration by the opposition through the use of civilian contractors; especially in the case ...Show more


The ethical and political ramifications of having civilians on the field could be severe, especially in light of the Geneva Conventions when in a time of war non-military personnel should be kept out of harms way1. Yet, in a time of war it has been the policy of the US government to use civilian contractors…
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Civilian Contractors on the Battlefield essay example
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