News / Asia

US Senate Panel Releases Scathing Report on Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan

Cindy Saine

On the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, the Senate Armed Services Committee has released a report on an inquiry into private security contractors operating under U.S. Defense Department contracts and subcontracts in Afghanistan. The news is not good for U.S. taxpayers, as the report finds that some of the money they are sending to Afghanistan is actually undermining U.S. military operations there.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, got right to the point as he announced the results a year-long bi-partisan inquiry into the role and oversight of private security contractors used by the U.S. Defense Department in Afghanistan.

"The report describes a number of private security contractors funneling U.S. taxpayer dollars to Afghan warlords and strongmen who are linked to murder, kidnapping, bribery, pro-Taliban and anti-coalition activities," said Senator Levin.

The report includes details of a U.S. Air Force subcontract with ArmorGroup, a company hired to provide security at an Afghan air base.  It says ArmorGroup relied on Afghan warlords, some of whom were Taliban supporters, to provide manpower for the company's guard force at the airbase.  While the contract was going on, one of those warlords, referred to by the company as Mr. White was killed by another one of the warlords, known as Mr. Pink in a shootout at an Afghan bazaar.  A third warlord was killed in a U.S. and Afghan military raid on a Taliban meeting being held at his house that resulted in a significant number of Afghan civilian casualties.

The report also details a number of incidents of private security guards who were high on opium during their security duty, and who had not been trained to use their firearms.

Senator Levin said Congress is working with the Department of Defense to make sure that the recipients of security contracts are properly vetted.

"So we much shut off the spigot of U.S. dollars flowing into the pockets of warlords and powerbrokers who act contrary to our interests, and who contribute to the corruption that weakens the support of the Afghan people for their government and for our effort," he said.

Levin said top U.S. commanders in Afghanistan are aware of the problem, and are more closely supervising security contracts.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced a ban on private security firms in August that would take effect by the end of this year.  NATO's International Security Assistance Force relies on private contractors to guard bases and supply lines, and a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, also use private security firms.

President Karzai said private security companies hired to guard international embassies or organizations are exempt from the decreed ban.  The plan is for Afghan police and soldiers to fill the gap as some of the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 private security forces hired by the U.S. government leave the country next year.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid