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Charleston Law Review


Many legal violations by military contractors are never addressed through the legal system. This is despite Congress having enacted two laws that attempt to hold contractors accountable for crimes committed abroad. The reason for this gap is that the military has adopted a civilian-first strategy where the primary choice of prosecution is delegated to the Department of Justice. This is a mistake. This article explains why the civilian-first strategy has been so unsuccessful and how the military can appropriately move to a military-first strategy. Doing so would provide the military better control over the Total Force, which is particularly important when acting abroad. But for this change to work, in addition to enabling direct reports of violations to the military, the military must also ensure protection for contractors taking advantage of this reporting system. Current whistleblowing protection for contracts is focused on financial violations as opposed to all criminal violations or all violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


Originally published in Charleston Law Review. Copyright © 2023 Charleston School of Law.