Monday, August 23, 2010

Karzai Playing Politics with Afghan Security Contracting Firms

"Afghan President Hamid Karzai's decree ordering private security companies operating in Afghanistan to leave the country by year's end complicates U.S. strategy in an already troubled, nearly nine-year-old war. Confronted with a robust Taliban-led insurgency and slow progress in raising capable Afghan security forces, U.S. officials have complained that Karzai's deadline for getting rid of the contractors, on whom allied forces are heavily reliant, is unrealistic. And it could have a major impact on Afghanistan's security situation.

Pressure has grown in recent months for Karzai to assert control over the private security companies, as media reports and a damning U.S. congressional investigation have exposed reckless and unlawful behavior by contractors. The President's order, issued Tuesday, Aug. 17, applies to roughly 25,000 armed guards - most of them Afghans - employed by more than 50 government-registered companies contracted to protect NATO supply convoys, bases, political figures and other organizations. An exception was made for private security firms working inside compounds used by international groups, embassies, businesses and nongovernmental organizations based outside the capital. (See pictures of the presidential election in Afghanistan.)".
Read the rest of the article in "Karzai Plays to the Crowd with Threatened Ouster of Afghan Contractors"Yahoo! News, August 18, 2010.  Read more news about security contractors and the Afghan War.

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