In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has vastly expanded its use of contractors in conflict zones without serious consideration of their strategic impact. While the presnece of contractors is not new, the number and types of tasks they are executing is. This discussion will examine what is good about contractors, what problems they cause and then the largely unexamined strategic impact of contractors -- both armed and unarmed -- on current and future conflicts. It concludes with policy recommendations for the use of contractors in future conflicts.

Speaker: Thomas Hammes