The AP in Kabul reports that the U.S. Embassy there has cashiered eight of the ArmorGroup security contractors accused of “lewd behavior and sexual misconduct,” as well as ArmorGroup’s in-country management team.
This smells more like crisis management than accountability. For one thing, as the Project on Government Oversight and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have disclosed, the embassy’s security staff — that is, the State Department employees who interface with ArmorGroup — have known about this sort of behavior for years, and yet ArmorGroup’s contract was renewed last year. The State Department’s spokesman Ian Kelly put forward that knowledge like it was exculpatory. It’s one thing to note that the State Department senior leadership just found out about ArmorGroup’s problematic track record a few days ago. The embassy in Kabul can claim no such ignorance.