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Copyright 2007 The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy 
The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy

NOTE: Striking the Balance: Domestic Civil Tort Liability for Private Security Contractors

Summer, 2007

5 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 691





Private security contracting is a $ 100 billion-a-year business and the U.S. Government (USG) is the private security industry's single biggest client. 1 One can gain a sense of the role private security contractors (PSCs) play in modern warfare from several anecdotal examples of USG contracts:
. Armed guarding of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a State Department (DOS) contract--a job formerly done by US special forces soldiers. 2
. Conducting counterinsurgency operations in Colombia on a DOS contract instead of U.S. military (USM) troops, in part, to circumvent congressionally mandated force caps. 3
. More than 6000 PSC personnel performing a host of private security functions in Iraq for the USG, 4 thereby freeing nearly an equal number of USM troops for other missions. 5 One such contract includes daily trips ferrying DOS personnel between Baghdad International Airport and their government compound in armored vehicles on "the most dangerous road in the world," 6 complete with PSC-provided armed helicopter gunships. 7

A USG contract to protect the Coalition Provisional Authority (the civilian USG authority administering post-Saddam Hussein Iraq) facilities across Iraq. 8 In one instance, eight security contractors repelled an 18-hour assault of more than 300 insurgents on the USG compound in Najaf, Iraq, while civilian security contractor pilots flew in ammunition and evacuated the wounded, all without any USM support. 9

For more precision, this note will adopt the definition of PSC ...
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