Tuesday October 29, 2019
Long before and ever since the Blackwater Nisour Square massacre, the United States has employed contractors to pursue any particular US military agenda so desired, just about anywhere. However, under US law - depending upon who interprets it and when - US military contractors are not allowed to engage in aggression. Of course, the perception of "armed aggression" versus "self-defense" varies markedly, especially depending upon who or whom - ie which side - is doing the perceiving. The line between mercenary and contractor is indeed fine.
Besides the Nisour Square massacre, plenty of evidence exists that US military contractors do participate in military offensives, and invariably there is no independent observer to determine otherwise. The United States military employs contractors to train and instruct foreign troops in the use of arms and combat too, a technicality not addressed by the Anti-Pinkerton Act.
The presence of the United States military and its contractors in Syria is illegal. It is illegal according to Article 25 of the UN Charter; illegal according to the Syrian government and international law; and illegal according to the historically established principles of Westphalian sovereignty. In other words, the United States government is acting as a terrorist entity and insurgency in Syria.