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Military contractor use on the rise

While claims and counterclaims fly in all directions during a heated presidential election campaign, it is probably safe to say that no candidate is promising to send American ground troops into new conflicts around the globe.

However, a recent news article points out that there a couple of caveats in play. The first is that the definition of "ground troops" can mean several different things and the second is that in many cases, the U.S. military uses contractors in place of soldiers in order to avoid negative press and a weakening of support.

The article cites a no-bid contract awarded this past summer to a Virginia company that is a subsidiary a defense industry firm. The contract is for “intelligence analysis services” in Italy, Germany and Syria.

The article-writer points out that Syria's inclusion on the list is an indication that U.S. military contractors are already operating there.

A Pentagon spokesperson said that Syria should not have been listed as part of the contract and that the notice has been amended to reflect the error.

An Army special-forces veteran, author Sean McFate is a long-time observer of Pentagon dealings. "I’ve been watching these things for 20 years—I’ve never seen a ‘mistake’ like this," said the assistant professor at the National Defense University.

Whether or not the Pentagon let slip a hint of its plans, there is no doubt that the Pentagon makes increasingly greater use of military contractors in its operations.

There is also no doubt that those contractors face the same sorts of unusual dangers and everyday perils that soldiers face in similar hotspots. When a contractor is injured, their medical expenses should be covered in much the same way workers here in the U.S. are protected by workers' compensation benefits.

If you have any questions about the Defense Base Act and how this can affect you or a loved one, please contact the Barnes Law Firm at 713-652-4002 for a confidential consultation.

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