Show sidebar

Tag Archive: private military contractors

Erik Prince’s ‘New Band of Flying Tigers’ is a Sequel We Don’t Need

It shouldn’t be too surprising that in his recent New York Times op-ed calling for an infusion of private contractors into Afghanistan, Erik Prince sidestepped any discussion of Blackwater’s history in Iraq. The company had such a poor record that Prince has changed its name numerous times in the years since: he now is the CEO of the Frontier Services Group.…   continue »

A Legal and Policy Risk Analysis of the Erik Prince Plan to Privatize War in Afghanistan 

Trump administration officials reportedly are considering a plan to privatize a significant portion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Erik Prince, founder of the notorious security firm formerly known as Blackwater, is apparently the architect of a proposal to send 5,500 new contractors and a 90-plane private air force to assist the Afghan government.…   continue »

When is a Mercenary (Not) a Mercenary? The Case of Foreign Fighters in the UAE’s Military


When the going gets tough, politics tends to trump law, and words start to lose meaning. You can see it in the culture of sloppiness and misdirection that has developed around the use of terms like ‘terrorist’ and ‘combatant.’ These terms do have more-or-less precise meanings in international law, and there are good reasons for that precision, grounded in a deliberately established balance between liberty and security interests of individuals and states.…   continue »

Drones and Contractor Mission Creep

I have written previously about the transparency, oversight, and accountability issues that outsourcing aspects of the U.S. drone program can pose – issues that often get lost in the shuffle amid other aspects of the program. A new report by the British Bureau of Investigative Journalism shines a light on the murky world of drone contractors.…   continue »

Abu Ghraib and the Perversion of the Political Question Doctrine

I’ve written extensively about the important and complex legal questions raised by state-law tort suits against private military contractors, many of which have arisen in the context of suits by victims of torture at Abu Ghraib. It’s against that backdrop that I was disappointed to read yesterday’s 28-page district court decision in al-Shimari v.   continue »