Private Contractors?

With all the articles about private security companies operating in hotspots like Iraq, I can't recall any of them mentioning what standards or accountability they are held to. In areas like Iraq where law and order is a tenuous concept at best, who if anyone holds these civilians responsible for their actions?

For example, If i'm a private security guy escorting a Halliburton contractor around Iraq, and some kid throws a rock at me. What happens if I pull out my Galil assault rifle and start unloading into a crowd?Am I only accountable to myself to stay alive? Are the Iraqis the only ones to fear for the consequences of my actions?

Most contractors follow whatever the current ROE is at the time for the military. Also u usually work side by side with the military for support there are not enough contractors to always run alone even though alot of missions go that way.

Interesting, this is what I got off another thread...

From Slate:
Many of the explicitly military contractors who perform security functions, such as Blackwater Consulting, have use-of-force rules built into their contracts. They train their personnel on how to follow them. But these rules are often not vetted by Defense Department lawyers nor are they designed to match the levels of force desired by American commanders on the ground.

Private military contractors generally don't have to listen to these rules and orders, in any event, and they have historically not been prosecuted for disobeying military rules. The Uniform Code of Military Justice's jurisdictional article (10 U.S.C. Section 802) provides that "In time of war, persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field" may be tried by a military court, but there's little precedent for military trials of civilian contractors who behave badly in a war zone--even assuming Iraq can legally be called a "war."

Moreover, while the Justice Department has jurisdiction to prosecute military contractors for actions overseas under a 2000 law, it may decline to do so as a result of limited resources and the fact that there is no U.S. attorney's office (yet) established in Iraq to govern U.S. civilian activities there.

The legal murkiness helps shield the contractors from effective discipline. The Coalition Provisional Authority has decreed that contractors and other foreign personnel will not be subject to Iraqi criminal processes. Yet, there's also no clear mandate for American jurisdiction. And in the absence of any specific mandate telling military officials to clamp down on contractors, American prosecutors can simply decline to do so as a matter of discretion--precisely what has happened on U.S. military deployments in the Balkans, as pointed out by Peter W. Singer in a Salon article on contractor transgressions during that deployment.

so it would seem that they are not very accountable at all...

Well, apart from being subject to U.S. law and the
terms of their contract.

It really depends on how forefully the government
wants to enforce either.