The rules regarding the Pentagon’s use of proxy forces have brought to light the questionable power wielded in these shadowy wars. In recent years, the United States military has increasingly relied on proxy forces to carry out operations in places such as Niger and Somalia. These forces, often made up of local fighters, are funded, trained, and equipped by the United States, all while operating outside of the traditional legal parameters governing US military action.
While the use of proxy forces is not a new phenomenon, the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding their operations has raised human rights concerns. Critics argue that these forces often engage in human rights abuses, including torture and extrajudicial killings, with little to no oversight from US officials.
In an effort to address these concerns, the Department of Defense has recently issued new rules governing the use of proxy forces. These rules require greater transparency and accountability in the training, funding, and operation of these forces, as well as measures to prevent human rights abuses.
The rules state that all proxy forces must undergo extensive vetting to ensure they do not have a history of human rights abuses or other criminal activities. Furthermore, they require that all funding, training, and equipment provided to these forces be tracked and accounted for to prevent misuse. Finally, the rules mandate that any human rights abuses committed by these forces be investigated and acted upon.
While these rules are a step in the right direction, some argue that they do not go far enough. Critics worry that they are still too vague and lack the teeth needed to truly hold US officials accountable for the actions of proxy forces.
Additionally, some argue that the fundamental issue lies in the use of these forces in the first place. While the use of proxy forces may be a more politically palatable option, it ultimately allows US officials to operate outside of the legal constraints governing traditional military action.
As the United States continues to grapple with how best to operate in these shadowy wars, it remains unclear whether increased transparency and accountability will be enough to address the human rights concerns surrounding the use of proxy forces.