The Problem With Mercenaries

A military blogger vents at a recent NYT piece on private military contractors:

Nowhere do they bring up how contractors have the ability to directly and immediately influence U.S. foreign policy, national security, and public diplomacy. Think Fallujah and the decision to "teach them a lesson" for dragging and stringing up contractors, against the recommendations of the commanders on the ground. War today isn't about personal enmity, which is what came into play in the aftermath of Fallujah as a result of a company going cheap and going stupid in trying to escort kitchen goods. The end result? We lost prestige, high-ground, trust, and possibly the war. Not because the contractors were there, but because we allowed them to remain outside of our mission and we maintained separate civil and military operations.