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Private Security Remains in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has abandoned plans to scrap private security firms in the country by mid-December, the interior ministry says.

Fifty-four private security firms have been dissolved in recent weeks in a drive to clamp down on the industry.

But interior ministry officials said most of the 52 mainly Afghan firms remaining would retain their licences.

Private security firms provide guards at everything from diplomatic missions, aid agencies and supply convoys.

…In August, President Karzai gave private security companies four months to end operations in Afghanistan following concerns that some contractors empowered warlords and power brokers operating outside government control.

But recently aides to the president have advised him that the move to disband the network completely was ill-advised, as the security forces could not fill the gap.

“Their future operations will continue in accordance with the law and regulations in place,” an interior minister told a news conference in Kabul.

He said some of the 52 firms still operating remained under criminal investigation and could face closure; a list of banned companies would be announced on 17 December.

Mr Farahi said that those which remained would have to follow tighter rules. They would have to wear uniforms and would not be allowed to stop vehicles or block roads for security reasons.

For the full story, click HERE.

See previous:  Ban for Afghan Private Security Contractors

SO first the crackdown, and then the reshuffle.  It will be interesting to see how this continues to play out both through official and back channels.  ~ES

Afghan Government to Ban Private Security Contractors

Now this is interesting…

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai issued a decree Tuesday disbanding all private security firms within four months.

The decree involves international and national private security companies and the security employees of those companies are able to join the Afghan national police with their weapons.

“In order to protect Afghan life and property, avoid corruption, security irregularities and the misuse of military weapons, ammunition and uniforms by the private security companies which have caused tragic incidents, and after the required assessment, I approve shutting down all private security companies within four months, including both domestic and foreign,” the decree said.

…The move spotlights the issue of the role and conduct of U.S. security contractors, who protect embassies and companies, perform training, and help convoys move through dangerous areas. Violent incidents involving such
contractors have enraged Afghans.  U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters on Monday that U.S. officials will study the decree, which was expected to be issued.

If US, Afghan relations weren’t icy before.   It’s no secret that private security contracting in war zones is now big business.  Can’t see these companies going quietly into the night.  Developing…

For the full story, click HERE.