Under assault by insurgents and unable to rely on U.S. and coalition troops for intelligence or help under duress, private security firms in Iraq have begun to band together in the past 48 hours, organizing what may effectively be the largest private army in the world, with its own rescue teams and pooled, sensitive intelligence.
Does “private army” sound as ominous to you as it does to me? Now that the Daily Kos flap has died down, can we start a serious conversation about how much of our fighting we want done by people who aren’t under military discipline?
I expect Phil Carter to tell me what I’m supposed to think about this. (Update: Phil does so in Slate; he’s worried that contract personnel may be “unlawful combatants” under the relevant international laws. I respond here.)