Feds Tap Contractor to Step Up Cyber Warfare Capacity

Feds Tap Contractor to Step Up Cyber Warfare Capacity

The federal government may be making plans to fight the next war, and rather than looking inward, it turned to the contractors at NexiTech for assistance.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the government expects NexiTech to upgrade authentication, encryption, and other passive measures into more active defenses. There is a considerable sense of urgency in this matter, as phase one is to be completed by February of 2018.

NexiTech is a Colorado-based contractor that routinely works with the government as well as Lockheed-Martin and other defense contractors.

Non-Military Private Military Contractors

Bitter experience has taught U.S. policymakers that what happens before the war is at least as important as what happens once the shooting starts. Without effective intelligence, the necessary weaponry to confront the enemy, and the necessary logistical support, combat troops in the field are at a significant disadvantage. Private military contractors fulfil all three of these roles, and they do their jobs very well.

Sometimes, the best intelligence gathering takes place on the ground. Intelligence officers can form relationships with individuals who may not have much to offer, but can point the way to people who do. In situations like these, third-nation contractors are essential. These people eliminate both the language barrier and the culture barrier, which is something that regular servicemembers who took language classes at a military college cannot do. Even if these people are not U.S. residents, interpreters and other contractors are eligible for compensation under the Defense Base Act if they meet the minimum requirements.

Ever since the Battle of Castillon in 1453, in which the army of Charles VII expelled the English from French soil (except for the Pas de Calais) at the end of the Hundred Years War, guns have been the primary weapons of war for the armies of the world. But as mechanization gives way to digitization, it appears that lead bullets may not be the most effective weapons for very much longer. Ransomware attacks, sophisticated computer viruses, and EMPs might be the weapons of the future, and as the aforementioned NexiTech contract aptly illustrates, the traditional apparatus of the DoD may not be the best place to develop such weapons and countermeasures. Private companies can place skilled technicians at exactly the right place at exactly the right time, which is something the government simply cannot do.

Even before the Hundred Years War, most field armies have fewer combat troops than support troops, a proportion that is sometimes called the tooth-to-tail ratio. The ratio in the German Wehrmacht, which was the most potent fighting force the world had ever seen at the time, was about 47%/53%. While most servicemembers are more than willing to pull their share of KP, placing these individuals on long-term support duty is not an efficient use of military resources. It is much more practical to retain private companies to handle such necessary roles, thus freeing up combat troops to be in the tooth as opposed to the tail. That has been the primary structure of U.S. forces even before the country was founded.

The Risks These Individuals Face

Serving in a war zone as a combat soldier is dangerous enough, but serving in a non-combat role in a war zone is arguably even more hazardous.

The days of front lines and rear areas are long gone. That type of combat may have ended when the last Panzers ground to a halt in 1945. Most of today’s conflicts are anti-insurgency efforts, at least to a considerable extent. Furthermore, almost anyone can bury an IED or become a suicide bomber, so adversaries are everywhere. The mechanic who changes the oil on the vehicles in the motor pool is just as vulnerable to attack as any front line soldier. In fact, the mechanic may be even more vulnerable because at least the front line soldier has a weapon for defense and is prepared for enemy action.

Many of the occupations that non-combat contractors such as construction workers and truck drivers pursue are hazardous enough in the United States and other stable countries. But in a less developed country with poor roads and other underdeveloped infrastructure, these risks are multiplied. Furthermore, the emergency medical care available may be a substantially lower quality than the facilities in other parts of the world.

How Injured Overseas Contractors Get Better

Obviously, a doctor’s efforts and a family’s support are the two most significant pillars of a successful recovery. Both of these things usually require money. Most doctors do not work for free, and families cannot provide the necessary emotional support if they are distracted by unpaid bills. So, an aggressive and experienced Defense Base Act lawyer may be the third tent pole in a successful recovery, if the victim is an overseas contractor. That is because the DBA provides substantial financial benefits to injured contractors and their families, but the insurance company does not simply give them away. These benefits usually include:

  • Compensation for Lost Wages: Insurance companies often under calculate a victim’s Average Weekly Wage so it can underpay benefits. In other cases, insurance company lawyers dispute the nature and extent of an injury.
  • Payment for Medical Expenses: Insurance company lawyers look out for the best interests of the insurance company, and that means denying every conceivable medical expense. Attorneys, on the other hand, uphold the best interests of victims, and that means obtaining the financial resources they need to recover.

To find out more about the process involved in DBA cases, contact Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A.