Resolution Opposing the Contracting Out of the U.S. Armed Forces

Whereas, the United States Armed Forces, under former Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, began a process of force transformation that dramatically expanded the role of private military contractors in performing mission-critical combat-support tasks—in Iraq, the number of such contractors and subcontractors is believed to be greater than the entirety of the Coalition military force currently stationed in theater; many of these contractors, such as Blackwater USA, provide forward-positioned armed paramilitary escorts that come into regular contact with the local population, whose actions in-theater reflect on the professionalism of the Iraq mission; and

Whereas, the effectiveness of the American military mission in Iraq is substantially contingent on winning the hearts-and-minds of the local population; however, unlike the highly disciplined military units that paramilitary contractors replace, in-theater private operators are neither integrated into the command structure, nor are held accountable for their conduct under local Iraqi law, U.S. criminal law (as permitted by the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000), or military courts-martial (as required by the 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill); the resulting widespread escalation of  use-of-force violations significantly undermine the effectiveness of the Iraqi mission, as private misconduct is adversely attributed to the American military presence by the local civilian population; and

Whereas, the integration of paramilitary contractors into the total end force imprudently subordinates the mission effectiveness of the U.S. Armed Forces to the conduct of these private interests, whose motivations may not closely align with the objectives of military commanders and State Department officials; so

Therefore, be it resolved that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party supports the return to in-sourcing military core competencies within the traditional force structure and diplomatic security detachments, thereby improving the effectiveness of the U.S. military and lessening undue reliance on outsourced private contractors for armed support; and

Be it further resolved that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party opposes the construction of training facilities in California that directly support foreign armed combat missions by private paramilitary contractors and commend the efforts of the House Oversight Committee by delivering a copy of this resolution to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

Submitted by Peter Rudinskas, 48th AD

Passed by LACDP Resolutions Comm, 10/02/07

Passed by Los Angeles County Democratic Party, 10/9/07