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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

A private security contractor.

U.S. Congressional Oversight

U.S. House Armed Services Committee

The House Armed Services Committee is responsible for funding and oversight of the Department of Defense and defense policy generally. This includes ongoing military operations, the organization and reform of the Department of Defense, counter-drug programs, acquisition and industrial base policy, technology transfer and export controls, and detainee affairs and policy. The committee has held a number of hearings about the Department of Defense's use of private contractors.

Reports

Majority Interim Reports

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Hearings

113th Congress (2013-2014)

Past, Present, and Future Irregular Warfare Challenges: Private Sector Perspectives

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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For this hearing the committee sought out private sector views on lessons learned and future challenges in the area of irregular warfare. Topics discussed included the need for greater human intelligence capabilities among U.S. personnel and the role of private sector actors in providing training for indigenous security forces.

Transition in Afghanistan: Views of Outside Experts (H. Hrg. 113-8)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing focused on the transition from U.S. to Afghan control of on-the-ground security during and after 2014. One area of concern for committee members was the provision of security for USAID and other development personnel, which will move from private security companies to the nascent Afghan Public Protection Force.  Other topics of discussion included problems of governance, corruption, and economic development.

112th Congress (2011-2012)

Afghan National Security Forces (H. Hrg. 112-70)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing focused on the current status and future challenges for the Afghan National Security Forces. After the hearing, members of the Committee posed questions to and received written responses from witnesses. Many of these concerned the U.S.’s use of private security in Afghanistan and the use of Afghan nationals as security guards for U.S. installations and personnel.  Questions included why private security is used; how private security personnel are vetted; when/where private security can carry weapons.

Sustaining the Force: Challenges to Readiness (H. Hrg. 112-40)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing was an opportunity to discuss the current state and future of U.S. military logistical and maintenance readiness. Witnesses were asked if the military over-relies on contractors for logistical support and whether it could carry out missions without the use of contractors.
111th Congress (2009-2010)

Afghanistan: The results of the Strategic Review, Part I (H. Hrg. 111-111)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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Witnesses at this hearing about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan were Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense; Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. Witnesses were asked how many military contractors would be needed to support the surge of 30,000 troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

Developments in Afghanistan (H. Hrg. 111-166)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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At this hearing about developments in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus was asked about the government's use of private security contractors there, and whether more U.S. troops should be sent to Afghanistan to replace security contractors and perform the tasks performed by contractors there.

Coordinating Contract Support on the Battlefield: Defense, State and USAID (H. Hrg. 111-37)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing focused on the implementation of Section 861 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008, which required the Departments of Defense and State, and the USAID to sign a memorandum of understanding regulating contracting matters in Iraq and Afghanistan. The MOU was signed in July 2008, and witnesses discussed how well the agencies have done in implementing its terms, which included increasing contractor visibility and enhancing the government’s ability to track contracts and contractors.

Contingency Contracting: Has the Call for Urgent Reform Been Answered? (H. Hrg. 111-32)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing focused on the progress made by the Department of Defense and Department of the Army in implementing the recommendations made by the Gansler Commission on Army acquisition and program management for expeditionary operations. The Commission’s recommendations call for a major change in the Army’s cultural attitude toward contracting and for institutional changes to the Army’s contracting capability.

Managing Service Contracts: What Works and What Doesn't? (H. Hrg. 111-82)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing focused on the Department of Defense's approach to managing its service contractors. The Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract is discussed in-depth. LOGCAP is an initiative by the United States Army to pre-plan during peacetime for the use of civilian contractors to perform selected services in wartime and other contingencies to augment U.S. forces in support of DOD missions.

Resourcing the National Defense Strategy: Implications of Long Term Defense Budget Trends (H. Hrg. 111-108)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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At this hearing, witnesses were asked to discuss the fiscal year 2011 DOD budget, and the projected defense spending for future years.  Witnesses stated that cuts in spending would affect defense contractors. However, witnesses said that the because the DOD is so reliant on contractors for services—in addition to those contractors that form the industrial base—and these contractors would not be as affected as the DOD’s reliance on service contractors is  both permanent and sustainable. Discussion was also had about the government’s possible over-use of contractors, and whether U.S. military contractors are cost-effective.

Effective Counterinsurgency: How the Use and Misuse of Reconstruction Funding Affects the War Effort in Iraq and Afghanistan (H. Hrg. 111-30)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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Among other issues discussed at this hearing was the success of U.S. efforts (through military and contractors) to train the Afghan police and army. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction was also asked about the use of third-country nationals as security guards for U.S. projects and installations in Afghanistan, and whether there were any inherent risks to this practice.

Measuring Value and Risk in Service Contracts (H. Hrg. 111-44)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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At this hearing, the Committee asked witnesses to discuss the challenges DOD faces in consistently following sound contracting and contract management practices, and actions the DOD has taken to improve its management of services contracts.

Managing the Department of Defense in a Time of Tight Budgets (H Hrg. 111-172)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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At this hearing, the Committee asked DOD representatives why the Department had not yet complied with Section 803 of the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which was meant to  provide the Congress with much greater clarity on the military’s procurement of contractor services.

110th Congress (2007-2008)

Building Partnership Capacity and Development in the Interagency Process (H. Hrg. 110-146)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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At this hearing, Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense; Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of the State; and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified about interagency cooperation. Among other matters, they were asked to discuss the memorandum of understanding between the Departments of Defense and State regarding civilian contractors on the battlefield.

Contracting for the Iraqi Security Forces (H. Hrg. 110-55)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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This hearing explored the role of private contractors and the role that they have played in the mission to train, equip and sustain Iraqi Security Forces. Witnesses from the Departments of Defense, State and Justice discussed how the roles and responsibilities for each agency in Iraq have evolved, as well as the procedures for accountability, management and oversight of contractors that have been put in place.

Inherently Governmental - What is the Proper Role of the Government? (H. Hrg. 110-130)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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The Committee posed this question to witnesses: has the U.S. government gone too far in recent years by relying too much on contractors? A representative from the Department of Defense testified that the DOD's use of contractors, including private security contractors was consistent with existing U.S. policy on inherently governmental functions.

Army Strategic Initiatives (H. Hrg. 110-92)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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At this hearing, Army Chief of Staff General George Casey is questioned by the Committee about the Army’s use and reliance on private military and security contractors. He is asked to predict the Army’s future reliance on security contractors, and whether the continued use of contractors is the best use of government funds.

Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq (H. Hrg. 110-88)

Author: House Armed Services Committee
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The Committee heard the testimony of the Independent Commission on the Iraqi Security Forces, a commission appointed by Congress to conduct an assessment of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). The Commission reported on the readiness of the Iraqi Security Forces, their capabilities, and how support and training by U.S. forces contributes to the effectiveness of the ISF. During their testimony, the members of the Commission discussed how police training was conducted by private contractors.