Phi Beta Iota: Click on the PMSC title to read the entire post at Huffington Post. Below is the quoted testimony followed by a link to our review of the officer's book.
Back on June 22 there was a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs Hearing; “Investigation of Protection Payments for Safe Passage along the Afghan Supply Chain?” Let's look at the written testimony of Colonel Hammes, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.
Col Hammes is not an opponent of PMSC. His statement opens by detailing the benefits of their use. But he goes on to detail their costs:
When serving within the combat zone, particularly during a counterinsurgency, contractors create a number of significant problems from the tactical to the strategic level. Three primary characteristics of contractors, particularly armed contractors, create problems for the government. First, the government does not control the quality of the personnel the contractor hires. Second, unless it provides a government officer or NCO for each convoy, personal security detail or facilities protection unit, it does not control their daily interactions with the local population. Finally, the population holds the government responsible for everything the contractors do or fail to do. Since insurgency is essentially a competition for legitimacy between the government and insurgents, this factor elevates the issue of quality and tactical control to the strategic level.