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Thread: Regulating PMC (catch all)

  1. #1
    Council Member jonSlack's Avatar
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    Default www.defensetech.org - The Law Catches Up To Private Militaries, Embeds

    The Law Catches Up To Private Militaries, Embeds

    Amidst all the add-ins, pork spending, and excitement of the budget process, it has now come out that a tiny clause was slipped into the Pentagon's fiscal year 2007 budget legislation. The one sentence section (number 552 of a total 3510 sections) states that "Paragraph (10) of section 802(a) of title 10, United States Code (article 2(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is amended by striking `war' and inserting `declared war or a contingency operation'." The measure passed without much notice or any debate. And then, as they might sing on School House Rock, that bill became a law (P.L.109-364).

    The addition of five little words to a massive US legal code that fills entire shelves at law libraries wouldn't normally matter for much. But with this change, contractors' 'get out of jail free' card may have been torn to shreds. Previously, contractors would only fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, better known as the court martial system, if Congress declared war. This is something that has not happened in over 65 years and out of sorts with the most likely operations in the 21st century. The result is that whenever our military officers came across episodes of suspected contractor crimes in missions like Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, or Afghanistan, they had no tools to resolve them. As long as Congress had not formally declared war, civilians -- even those working for the US armed forces, carrying out military missions in a conflict zone -- fell outside their jurisdiction. The military's relationship with the contractor was, well, merely contractual. At most, the local officer in charge could request to the employing firm that the individual be demoted or fired. If he thought a felony occurred, the officer might be able to report them on to civilian authorities.

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default UCMJ applies to DoD?

    Not a lawyer, but I would not be to quick to think this will be a blanket law and will have an effect on all contractors since UCMJ would apply to DoD contractors. Alot of PMC contractors work for State Dept or " other". Not sure but as everything else, I would be willing to bet that law will get chewed up by the corp lawyers.

    Everyone hates them, but knows they are not getting anything done without them.

    Just my 2 cents.

    More info on this can be had here also:
    http://ipoaonline.org/journal/index....=136&Itemid=30
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 01-05-2007 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Other sources

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    Default As Halliburton says, Halliburton does

    During the Kosovo campaign, Halliburton was hauled before a Congressional hearing over price gouging. It seems Halliburton was really gouging on plywood. H. told the committee that if they didn't like it they could hire someone else to do the work:end of hearing. I simply call H and others "camp followers" but their connection to the people of Iraq is primarily economic which binds the people to them better and stronger than they are to military forces. Screw with the camp followers and they will simply move to a new location leaving a bunch of unemployed people in their wake who will have nobody to blame but the military for their loss of jobs. A purple finger or a paycheck? Which would you want? One 'Lifer' wanting to push some new rules could cause more problems than you can imagine.

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    Default

    This is unworkable on so many levels, especially irt the press. I wouldnt expect this to last.

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    Default UCMJ Extends to Civilian Contractors

    Via Colonel Patrick Lang's blog:

    "Jim" sent me this little gem. The MSM misses most important things and this is one of them. Under this Department of Defense directive, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates takes action to assure the extension of the authority of US military law over all civilians serving with or for US military forces.

    The direcives provides authority for officers and NCOs to arrest and detain persons seen conducting a crime and for military authorities to pursue investigations that may lead to trial by general court martial.

    The directive requires DoD to inform the US Department of Justice (DoJ) that it is proceeding against particular civilians. This provision exists to allow DoJ to take charge of the case involving civilians if it wishes. If DoJ declines then the military is authorized to proceed under its own legal system.

    This would appear to settle the issue of how to deal with private armies of the "Blackwater" type in criminal matters. Comment from you lawyers? pl
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...xtends-to.html

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    The question is whether a conviction obtained would withstand appeal to the Supreme Court.

    See Reid v. Covert 345 US 1.

    I am not a lawyer or student of the law, so I would welcome them to criticize my work.

    Something I wrote a few years ago:

    Attempts to apply the Uniform Code of Military Justice to those that aren’t members of the Armed Forces have traditionally failed. In Reid v. Covert, 345 US 1 (1957) the Supreme Court ruled that “courts of law alone are given power to try civilians for their offenses against the United States.” In that case, a civilian dependent was tried in front of a jury of Air Force officers for the murder of her husband, a member of the Air Force, on an Air Force base in England. Article 2 (11) of the UCMJ was invoked when charges were brought. It reads as follows:
    The following persons are subject to this code:

    (11) Subject to the provisions of any treaty or agreement to which the United States is or may be a party or to any accepted rule of international law, all persons serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces without the continental limits of the United States....
    The Court countered with a quotation from Article III Section II of the US Constitution:

    The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
    And the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, respectively:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger…

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…
    The Court continued on to use these passages to rule that the military has no right to try a civilian, and that doing so is a violation of the defendants Constitutional rights. Relevant to the discussion is this passage:

    There have been a number of decisions in the lower federal courts which have upheld military trial of civilians performing services for the armed forces "in the field" during time of war. To the extent that these cases can be justified, insofar as they involved trial of persons who were not "members" of the armed forces, they must rest on the Government's "war powers." In the face of an actively hostile enemy, military commanders necessarily have broad power over persons on the battlefront.
    It is apparent that this interpretation would allow the military to try private security contractors under some conditions, namely, if the country were at war. Whether the current conflict in Iraq meets the definition of a war is something that would have to be determined by a US Court of Appeals, in the event that a contractor is prosecuted under the UCMJ.

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    Council Member sandbag's Avatar
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    Well, there are two items of interest that apply:

    1) The Federal Acquisition Regulation does tell contractors up front about circumstances of applicability in clause 222.225-7040, Contractor Personnel U.S. Armed Forces, etc. This is spelled out in the contract, so there shouldn't be much of a surprise.

    2) CENTCOM's lawyers also have the deployed contracting officers putting a notification in contracts warning contractors about the applicability of MEJA.

    (NOTE: For legal advice in your state, please consult a lawyer. Sandbag is NOT a lawyer, but knows a thing or two about contract law).

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    Council Member Anthony Hoh's Avatar
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    Default A good start can this be extended?

    Does this mean I can finally tell morbidly obese contractors wearing ACU to meet 600-9 requirements? Or to take their headgear off in the chow hall? Or to blouse thier boots and roll their sleeves down? Man this could be the start of something good. The only problem I see, is that I will have to spend a lot of time making spot corrections.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Go for it

    No Slack!!!

  10. #10
    Council Member MountainRunner's Avatar
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    Default Something's still unclear...

    I've never seen any grounding in reality in the discussion over applying UCMJ to contractors. My unanswered concerns:
    • how does one adapt UCMJ punishments to civilians that are U.S. citizens? (see Seth's post) What if they are not U.S. citizens?
    • how does one apply the rule of law to civilians through civilians when military lawyers have trouble assembling evidence from a battlefield (few cases will have the resources the Nissor Square incident 'enjoyed' and even then...)? Didn't Rep Price's bill enhancing MEJA to authorize the FBI to investigate crimes in theater pass?
    • Are all commanders (and below) now aware which contracting officer 'owns' which contractor to fill his/her complaints? Few tracking of demerits has been done... (or merits to be fair)
    Some other random thoughts:

    As far as Fed Acq Regulations, FARs needs to be implemented fully and I'm not sure we've canceled or let expire all the contracts that bypassed FARs.

    There's an implication in FARs that if you don't do the job correctly, you'll be fired and replaced by another vendor. How many times has that happened?

    Have the contracts been been rewritten to make PMC produced reports gov't reports or are they still corporate property like Aegis's 200 pager compiled after the "Elvis Video"?

    Do based commanders have any insight (or new authority for that matter) over contractors, or is it still informal and haphazard?

    It will be interesting to see the first case play out.

  11. #11
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Hoh View Post
    Does this mean I can finally tell morbidly obese contractors wearing ACU to meet 600-9 requirements? Or to take their headgear off in the chow hall? Or to blouse thier boots and roll their sleeves down? Man this could be the start of something good. The only problem I see, is that I will have to spend a lot of time making spot corrections.
    Oh my young NCO...

    short answer: No

    longer answer: you can try but will only get frustrated

    The sleeves is an infantry thing, BTW

    Tom

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    Council Member sandbag's Avatar
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    You'd likely die of exhaustion if you take it on yourself, but yeah, you can do that. I'd rather have you go to Fort Belvoir and start with most of the personnel assigned there, first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Hoh View Post
    Does this mean I can finally tell morbidly obese contractors wearing ACU to meet 600-9 requirements? Or to take their headgear off in the chow hall? Or to blouse thier boots and roll their sleeves down? Man this could be the start of something good. The only problem I see, is that I will have to spend a lot of time making spot corrections.

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    DefenseLink, 6 Apr 08: Civilian Contractor Charged With Assault Under Military Law
    .....Alaa “Alex” Mohammad Ali, an interpreter, is the first contractor to be charged under a 2006 amendment to the Uniform Code of Military Justice – Section 552 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2007, MNC-I officials said.

    Ali, who holds Canadian and Iraqi citizenship, is accused of stabbing another contractor. Officials said he is presumed to be innocent of this offense until, and unless, he is proven guilty. He has been in confinement at Camp Victory, Iraq, since Feb. 29.....

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    Council Member tpjkevin's Avatar
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    Default

    It would be interesting to see how this turn of events might pave the way for increased usage of PMCs on the ground, if there is sufficient trust that's nurtured in the long term..

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    Default Regardless, UCMJ

    does not apply to contractors hired by other USG agencies (e.g. State which hired Blackwater).

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    Civilian Contractor Convicted at a Court Martial

    June 23, 2008.

    At a court-martial Sunday, Alaa “Alex” Mohammad Ali, a contractor serving as an interpreter with U.S. armed forces in Iraq, pleaded guilty to wrongful appropriation of a knife owned by a U.S. Soldier; obstruction of justice for wrongfully disposing of the knife after it was used in a fight with another interpreter; and making a false official statement to military investigators. A military judge sentenced Mr. Ali to five months confinement.
    Because he plead guilty this case won't advance through the judicial system, which means it may be some time before we know if the Supreme Court will allow civilians to be tried under the UCMJ. As I posted earlier this year, it had been illegal for a long time.

    I guess we have to wait and see.

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    Default Justice Black no longer rules from the grave ...

    at least, some of us think that is true.

    In short, Reid v Covert has probably not withstood the positive changes in the military justice system since it was decided - and it was decided well before the era of PMCs (and PICs based on the changes at CIA and other agencies).

    Here are some background sources on Section 552 (now Article 2(a)(10) of the UCMJ).

    Congressional Research Service Summary
    .....
    Subtitle C - Military Justice and Related Matters
    .....
    Section 552 -
    Applies UCMJ provisions to declared wars or contingency operations (currently, only "war").
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...22&tab=summary

    TITLE VIII--ACQUISITION POLICY, ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT, AND RELATED MATTERS

    Subtitle F - Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan

    NDAA Section

    SEC. 861. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON MATTERS RELATING TO CONTRACTING.

    (a) Memorandum of Understanding Required- The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall, not later than July 1, 2008, enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding matters relating to contracting for contracts in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    (b) Matters Covered- The memorandum of understanding required by subsection (a) shall address, at a minimum, the following:
    ....
    (6) Responsibility for the collection and referral to the appropriate Government agency of any information relating to offenses under chapter 47 of title 10, United States Code (the Uniform Code of Military Justice) or chapter 212 of title 18, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act), including a clarification of responsibilities under section 802(a)(10) of title 10, United States Code (article 2(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), as amended by section 552 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364).
    http://www.wifcon.com/dodauth8/dod08_861.htm

    --------------------------------------
    The updated MCM 2008 incorporates Section 552.

    MANUAL FOR COURTS-MARTIAL UNITED STATES
    (2008 EDITION)
    ....
    (p. PREFACE-4)

    Other UCMJ Articles contained in Appendix 2 of the MCM:

    Article 2(a)(10) was amended to apply jurisdiction to persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field in time of declared war or contingency operation.
    ....
    (p. A2-2)

    § 802. Art. 2. Persons subject to this chapter

    (a) The following persons are subject to this chapter:
    .....
    (10) In time of declared war or contingency operation, persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field.
    The Manuel does issue a caution in its discussion of RCM 202.

    (MCM 2008 pp. II-13-14)

    Rule 202. Persons subject to the jurisdiction of courts-martial

    (a) In general. Courts-martial may try any person when authorized to do so under the code.
    ....
    Discussion

    (1) Authority under the code. Article 2 lists classes of persons who are subject to the code. These include .... and, under some circumstances, specified categories of civilians (Article 2(a)(8), (9), (10), (11), and (12); see subsection (3) and (4) of this discussion).
    .....
    (3) Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Members of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration become subject to the code when assigned to and serving with the armed forces.

    (4) Limitations on jurisdiction over civilians. Courtmartial jurisdiction over civilians under the code is limited by judicial decisions . The exercise of jurisdiction under Article 2(a)(11) in peacetime has been held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. Article 2(a)(10) has also been limited. Before initiating court-martial proceedings against a civilian, relevant statutes and decisions should be carefully examined.
    The specific "civilian" provisions of § 802 (a) (8)-(12) are:

    (p. A2-2)

    § 802. Art. 2. Persons subject to this chapter

    (a) The following persons are subject to this chapter:
    .....
    (8) Members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public Health Service, and other organizations, when assigned to and serving with the armed forces.

    (9) Prisoners of war in custody of the armed forces.

    (10) In time of declared war or contingency operation, persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field.

    (11) Subject to any treaty or agreement to which the United States is or may be a party or to any accepted rule of international law, persons serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces outside the United States and outside the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

    (12) Subject to any treaty or agreement to which the United States is or may be a party or to any accepted rule of international law, persons within an area leased by or otherwise reserved or acquired for the use of the United States which is under the control of the Secretary concerned and which is outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

    -----------------------------------------------------
    An excellent article, which presaged the 2007 amendment, is here.

    AUTHOR: Colonel Kevan F. Jacobson
    TITLE: Restoring UCMJ Jurisdiction over Civilian Employees during Armed Hostilities
    FORMAT: Strategy Research Project
    DATE: 15 March 2006
    ......
    Abstract

    Modern United States military operations have become increasingly reliant upon services provided by civilian employees of the Department of Defense, other federal employees, and contractors. The range of such services is remarkably diverse. Large numbers of civilians now accompany Armed Forces on virtually all deployments, including combat operations. In short, civilian personnel are key members of the modern military team. Their actions, like those of uniformed military members, may have profound effects upon national interests. While commanders are now heavily reliant upon civilian services, commanders have relatively little disciplinary authority over the conduct of deployed civilian personnel.

    This paper proposes extending Uniform Code of Military Justice jurisdiction to United States citizen civilian personnel accompanying United States Armed Forces outside the United States in theaters of armed hostilities. It reviews and analyzes existing statutory bases of jurisdiction over civilians and the case law which has interpreted it. It also analyzes relevant evolutions of military jurisdiction and criminal practice in recent decades which call into question older case law which restricts UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians accompanying the Armed Forces. Finally, it recommends how the law may be shaped to effectively re-establish UCMJ jurisdiction over deployed civilian personnel in combat environments.
    .....
    (pp.18-19)

    The 25 years following the end of World War II witnessed significant Supreme Court litigation regarding the extent of courts-martial jurisdiction and a definite erosion of the authority of military courts to try civilians. When analyzed, however, the decisions of the Supreme Court reveal that the Constitutional foundation for the exercise of military jurisdiction over civilians accompanying the Armed Forces on the battlefield remains intact.

    Congressional action to amend Article 2(a)(10) of the UCMJ to state that jurisdiction exists “during periods of armed hostilities” is necessary to re-establish the legislative basis for jurisdiction. Should Congress act, case law suggests a significant body of authority upon which the courts could sustain Congressional action.
    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute...es/ksil374.pdf

    The guts of Jacobson's article - the erosion of the anti-UCMJ cases since Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987) - are found at pp, 10-17.

    Because of the expanded role of PMCs (whether engaged by DoD or other agencies, for that matter), the Congressional enactment of amended § 802 (a) (10) suggests that the test will hinge on the existence of an "armed conflict" and whether the contractor accompanies ("supports the mission of") the armed forces. That has already been recognized in The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000:

    (Jacobson, p.11)

    In pertinent part, such civilians include civilian employees of the Department of Defense (including nonappropriated fund instrumentality employees); Department of Defense civilian contractors, subcontractors, and their employees; and the civilian employees of other federal agencies or provisional authorities when serving in support of overseas Department of Defense missions. [98]

    [98] 98 18 U.S.C. § 3267(1) (2000). As originally enacted, this provision did not include civilian employees of federal agencies or departments outside the Department of Defense. Public Law 108-375 ( 2005) (the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005) amended 18 U.S.C. § 3267(1) to extend MEJA jurisdiction to civilian employees of federal agencies and provisional authorities “…to the extent such employment relates to supporting the mission of the Department of Defense overseas.” As of this writing, this change is not reflected in the published text of the United States Code. The amendment is nevertheless operative.
    Because SCOTUS cuts slack in favor of the Executive and Congress - when they act together and do not stomp on the essential jurisdiction of the Federal courts (such as habeas), the old cases (Toth and Reid, for example) seem a bit shaky today.

  18. #18
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    Default Interesting citations

    but the way I read them, Blackwater, escorting Embassy officials doing Embassy business, under contract to the State Department would be excluded. Big loophole that could be closed easily if the President would simply designate a single commaner whether military or the Ambassador.

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    Default Military vs Diplomatic "Support"

    Big loopholes could abound in this legal area. For example, if the US ambassador were the "commander", a very basic issue is whether the UCMJ would apply at all to civilians under his "command" (UCMJ implies a military situation).

    The general questions would be whether an armed conflict exists in the HN, whether US armed forces are involved in the conflict; and whether civilian contractors are supporting a military mission or a diplomatic mission. We also have to know:

    1. The terms of the US-HN SOFA (if any) and any other relevant international agreements.

    2. The terms of inter-agency co-operatrion in the HN.

    3. The terms of the civilian contracts - e.g., an individual could waive constitutional rights (jury trial, etc.) and agree to be tried under the UCMJ - in cases where Art. 2(a)(10) provides a jurisdictional basis.

    For a general overview see.

    CRS Report to Congress
    Order Code RL33557
    Peacekeeping and Related Stability Operations:
    Issues of U.S. Military Involvement
    Updated January 24, 2007
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33557.pdf

    Some of these intra-agency issues are covered in this 2003 manual (13+ MB at site below; there is a smaller .pdf file, 5+MB on my computer, which is somewhere on the Net)

    FM 3-07 (FM 100-20)
    Field Manual Headquarters
    No. 3-07 Department of the Army
    Washington, DC, 20 February 2003
    Stability Operations and Support Operations
    http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-07.pdf

    The various legal issues are addressed in the ongoing updates to the Operational Law Handbook (5+ MB) from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

    OPERATIONAL LAW HANDBOOK
    (August 2006)
    MAJ John Rawcliffe
    CPT Jeannine Smith
    Editors
    JA 422
    International and Operational Law Department
    The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School
    Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
    http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/law0806.pdf

    and for 2007

    OPERATIONAL LAW HANDBOOK
    2007
    MAJ John Rawcliffe
    Editor
    JA 422
    International and Operational Law Department
    The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School
    Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

    See, CHAPTER 7, CONTINGENCY CONTRACTOR PERSONNEL (CCP), starting at p. 127, with reference to Art. 2(a)(10) here (p. 140 - p 148 in .pdf file).

    5. Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

    a. Retired military members who are also CCP are subject to the UCMJ. Art. 2(a)(4), UCMJ. DA policy provides that retired Soldiers subject to the UCMJ will not be tried for any offense by any courts-martial unless extraordinary circumstances are present. Prior to referral of courts-martial charges against retired Soldiers, approval will be obtained from Criminal Law Division, ATTN: DAJA–CL, Office of The Judge Advocate General, HQDA. AR 27-10, para. 5-2b(3).

    b. Under the law for at least the past 30 years, contractors were only subject to the UCMJ in a congressionally declared war. During that time, there was never UCMJ jurisdiction over contractor personnel because there were no congressionally declared wars.

    c. Congress amended the UCMJ in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (2007 NDAA). In the 2007 NDAA, Congress changed Article 2(a)(10), addressing UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians accompanying the Armed Forces, from “time of war” to “time of declared war or contingency operation.” This appears to subject contractors to the UCMJ in OIF/OEF; however, this change has not yet been implemented by DoD.

    d. It is not clear whether this congressional attempt at expanding UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians in less-than congressionally declared war is constitutional. Prior congressional attempts at expanding UCMJ jurisdiction have been rejected by the Courts as unconstitutional.
    So, there is a caution here as well.

    For a huge collection of military law links, go here.

    http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-law.htm

    For a study course for unit commanders, go here.

    Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center Support
    MILITARY COMMANDER AND THE LAW

    Military operations, from day-to-day activities to large-scale combat maneuvers, must operate in an increasingly legalistic world. Some may see this reality only in negative terms, but the law works in many ways; it enables as much as it restricts, it protects as well as punishes. Commanders at all levels need to follow the law while working towards their mission objectives, whether their goal is a zero defect aircraft, a disciplined squadron, or a defeated enemy. Through the use of The Military Commander and the Law and other materials, the course will provide an overview of the legal environment that faces the unit commander. Emphasis will be placed on the practical application of law in the military justice, administrative, and operations law arena, and the role of the JAG as supporting staff to the commander.
    http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/school/a...lcmdrlaw09.htm

  20. #20
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Boggled. My little mind

    is totally boggled...

    Thanks for all that.

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