Private Security Companies May Surge Into Afghanistan
Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:11 am
The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus reports that the U.S. military command in Afghanistan is considering hiring private security contractors to post as guards at military bases. Danger Room’s Nathan Hodge contextualizes the move, and writes, “Private security firms should be mindful of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s directive, which instructs the troops to “respect and protect” the Afghan population.”
The ones whom McChrystal hires surely will. But what about the firms hired to protect the new State Department personnel on their way to Afghanistan? State Department security contractors like Blackwater Xe, Triple Canopy and DynCorp have been tied to more population-alienating abuses than the ones who work for the Defense Department. And McChrystal and his boss, Gen. David Petraeus — who dealt with the complications posed by buck-wild State Department security contractors in Iraq — won’t have control over them. The next Worldwide Personnel Protective Services contract, awarded to firms pledging to protect U.S. diplomats, will be a test of Petraeus’s oft-cited new “wingman” partnership with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the State Department’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And this doesn’t say anything about security firms hired by private corporations doing business in Afghanistan. How to coordinate them into McChrystal’s battle plan?
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