Up until now, US PMC (private military company) contractors have had a tremendous amount of latitude in how they conduct operations - sometimes with little or no accountability for their actions. This is all about to change dramatically, due to a small bit of wording inserted into the 2007 Pentagon budget that states contractors will now be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice that applies to all members of the US armed services. P.W. Singer has an analysis here
, along with a number of very interesting reader comments.