Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Contracting for Wartime Actors: The Limits of the Contract Paradigm

18 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2007  

Jennifer S. Martin

St. Thomas University - School of Law

Date Written: August 26, 2007


Much can be (and has been) said about the war in Iraq. This essay explores the role of contract in wartime and (particularly) reconstruction. First, it considers the use of government contracts to privatize numerous government functions during the reconstruction and conflict in Iraq. Second, it considers the private ordering by contract done by government contractors to obtain security and related services from third parties. Both types of contracting raise complicated issues including: the proper use of force; to what extent the contracts should have government oversight; to what extent contractors should be accountable for crimes; and whether contractors qualify as noncombatants in case of capture. The special issues of contracting in a warzone are not best addressed primarily by common law doctrine. Additional rules and regulations are necessary to address the special issues of non-state actors who contract with the U.S. government.

Keywords: contract, Iraq, war

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Martin, Jennifer S., Contracting for Wartime Actors: The Limits of the Contract Paradigm (August 26, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Jennifer S. Martin (Contact Author)

St. Thomas University - School of Law ( email )

16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami, FL 33054
United States
305-474-2420 (Phone)


Paper statistics

Abstract Views