the so-called private security contractors are mercenaries. They’re heavily armed. They carry out military missions, but they’re private employees who don’t answer to military discipline. On the other hand, they don’t seem to be accountable to Iraqi or U.S. law, either. And they behave accordingly.
Krugman describes exactly what the root problem with Blackwater is. If you aren’t totally sick of Iraq news or the Blackwater story, this is a must read