Why Should I Care
While exploring the increasingly blurred lines between soldier and mercenary in modern warfare, one thing became very clear to Shadow Company’s filmmakers: The rules of war have changed.
Privatization is reshaping the face of conflicts around the world. The modern US Army cannot go to war without soldiers for hire, and the need for them is unlikely to go away any time soon. If anything, the role of private military contractors will likely get more critical. It’s imperative that citizens understand the true cost of operating this way. Without the right legal framework and more open business practices, this trend toward military privatization could have dire implications for all of us:
“The size and scope of the private military contingent in Iraq also cut to the heart of the most troubling questions about the Bush administration's handling of the war. They point up the administration's inadequate planning and preparation, its lack of transparency about the war's financial and human cost, and its sense of denial about whether it put enough American troops on the ground to accomplish the task handed to them. The hiring of such a large private force and the ensuing casualties that it has taken outside of public awareness and discussion have served as a novel means for displacing some of the political costs of the war. Even more troubling, the growth of such an ad hoc market arrangement, lying outside the chain of command, makes an already tough mission even more difficult, and risks lives on both the troop and contractor side.”
- Warriors for hire in Iraq, by P.W. Singer (April 15 2004, Salon.com)
With over $100 billion in annual revenues and 70000 employees in Iraq alone, the private military industry is booming, yet few civilians know anything about it. It’s time we all started asking the question: What are we really risking by allowing profit-motivated corporations into the business of war?
"Takes a thorough and balanced look at the use of private security forces in Iraq and raises serious policy questions,"
- U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
“A must-see film for anyone who is concerned about our military and our security being privatized”
- Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)