From the Inter Press Service:

Should private contractors like Blackwater be allowed to continue to provide armed security for convoys, diplomatic and other personnel, and military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq? A bipartisan U.S. Congressional commission will spend two days cross-examining 14 witnesses from academia, government and the companies themselves to come up with an answer.... Others say that the problem is lack of proper regulation. "Armed private security contractors always pose some risk to civilians but factors that increase risk such as a more dangerous environment, jobs that require movement, and poor oversight make the use of private security more suspect," Dr. Deborah Avant, a professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine and author of "Private Security: The Market for Force", told IPS. Avant will be one of the six witnesses who will testify before the commission on Friday together with Dr. Allison Stanger, professor of international politics and economics at Middlebury College, Vermont, and author of "One Nation Under Contract".

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