Kabul Tomorrow Sunny
Kandahar Tomorrow Sunny
Herat Tomorrow Sunny
Mazar-i-sharif Tomorrow Sunny
Ghazni Tomorrow Party cloudy
Jalalabad Tomorrow Sunny
Bamiyan Tomorrow Sunny
Zaranj Tomorrow Sunny
Mimana Tomorrow Party cloudy
The Killid Group
Will Private Security Go?Written by Killid
Saturday, 28 August 2010 14:58
Will the Afghan government be able to dissolve the private security companies as President Hamid Karzai has pledged to do? The executive order has been delivered, but its execution may be far more difficult.
While the government initially announced there would be no exceptions to the rule, some caveats have crept in following an outcry and serious concern expressed by sections of the international community. President Karzai clarified in a recent interview that private security companies would be allowed to carry out static guard duties, guarding organisations and individual locations as long as they remained inside the compounds. They would also be allowed to escort individuals from one point to another. What they would not be allowed to do, he said, was to be deployed on the streets, on roads or in escorting supply convoys, tasks which needed to be done by the Afghan National Security Forces.
However one of the main challenges faced by the international security forces is in ensuring the security to their convoys through the supply routes which pass through dangerous areas and are being increasingly targetted by the insurgents. NATO and US forces have suffered losses with attacks on their supply convoys, something which has forced them to look for alternate supply routes. Americans have learnt, from the experience of the Soviet occupation, not to take on the task of ensuring security to these convoys themselves since it could result in heavy losses but to leave the task of securing the logistical supply route to private companies.
However recent reports have also suggested that the way the security companies achieve this is by paying off the local insurgent groups not to attack the convoys, a fact which poses a dilemma both for the international community as well as the Afghan government.
If the international community remains adamant about using the private companies for their security, there is a possibility that an eventual compromise will allow foreign companies to continue working while banning Afghan companies. However this would mean that foreign ones will reap the huge dividends from the profits of the lucrative security business. It would also be a decision that would be extremely unpopular with the Afghan public as Karzai would be seen to be favouring the foreigners.
If the issue is not resolved it could lead to international organizations leaving the country if they felt their security was not adequately established.