Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17
In December 2006, in Iraq there were thought to be at least 100,000 contractors working directly for the United States Department of Defense which is a tenfold increase in the use of private contractors for military operations since the Persian Gulf War, just over a decade earlier. The prevalence of PMCs has led to the foundation of trade group the Private Security Company Association of Iraq. In Iraq, the issue of accountability, especially in the case of contractors carrying weapons is a sensitive one. Iraqi laws do not hold over contractors. Just before leaving office as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Paul Bremer signed Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 where it is stated that:
Contractors shall not be subject to Iraqi laws or regulations in matters relating to the terms and conditions of their Contracts, including licensing and registering employees, businesses and corporations; provided, however, that Contractors shall comply with such applicable licensing and registration laws and regulations if engaging in business or transactions in Iraq other than Contracts. Notwithstanding any provisions in this Order, Private Security Companies and their employees operating in Iraq must comply with all CPA Orders, Regulations, Memoranda, and any implementing instructions or regulations governing the existence and activities of Private Security Companies in Iraq, including registration and licensing of weapons and firearms.
In October 2007 the Iraqi cabinet approved draft legislation which is intended to end contractors' immunity. It requires contractors to license all their weapons, to register their equipment including armored vehicles and helicopters and all foreign employees to obtain visas, a requirement they did not have to meet before when working for an agency of a country in the coalition.
- Merle, Renae (5 December 2006). "Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq". Washington Post.
- "Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 (revised)" (pdf).
- Rubin, Alissa (31 October 2007). "Iraqi Cabinet Votes to End Security Firms’ Immunity". The New York Times.
- National Review, 21 September 2007
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