Karzai Shows Security Contractors the Door
Posted on Oct 3, 2010
In your face, foreign community! Afghan President Hamid Karzai has begun dissolving foreign private security companies, including the firm formerly known as Blackwater, as he moves to make good on a promise to ban the private contractors by year’s end. —JCL
Los Angeles Times:
Karzai caught Western officials by surprise in mid-August when he announced a ban on private security firms that would take effect by year’s end. The U.S. Embassy at the time expressed support in principle but suggested the timetable was unrealistic.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force relies on private contractors to guard bases and supply lines, and many international organizations also use private security firms. With the insurgency increasing its reach across the country, few consider the Afghan police and military ready to step in and fill the role of security contractors.
The moves aimed at security contractors were the latest show of tension between Karzai and his foreign backers. Western officials have been highly critical of corruption in the Afghan government, and there are indications of widespread fraud in last month’s parliamentary elections. Results still have not be released.
Blackwater security personnel escort U.S. State Department employees in Baghdad in August 2009. The company is now known as Xe Services.