Why Contractor Fatalities Matter

15 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008

See all articles by Steven L. Schooner

Steven L. Schooner

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: November 17, 2008


At the end of July 2008, the media reported that 4,600 service members have died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. But reporting only military fatalities understates the human cost of America's engagements in these regions by nearly a fourth. On the modern, outsourced battlefield, the U.S. government increasingly has delegated to the private sector the responsibility to stand in harm's way and, if required, die for America. As of 30 June 2008, more than 1,350 civilian contractor personnel had died in Iraq and Afghanistan, while another 29,000 contractors have been injured; more than 8,300 seriously. Nonetheless, contractor fatalities (and injuries) remain generally outside the public's consciousness. This article asserts that, in a representative democracy, public awareness of the human cost of our nation's security and foreign policies is critical.

Keywords: contractor fatalities, defense acquisition, government contracts, Iraq, Afghanistan, outsourcing, private security, representative democracy

JEL Classification: H11, H42, H56, H57, J28, J45, K12, K23, L33

Suggested Citation

Schooner, Steven L., Why Contractor Fatalities Matter (November 17, 2008). Parameters, Vol. 38, No. 3, p. 78, Autumn 2008, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 455, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 455, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1303022

Steven L. Schooner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-3037 (Phone)
202-994-5614 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/steven-l-schooner

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics