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Afghanistan: US Senate Committee criticises private security firms for contracting groups with ties to the Taliban, criminal networks linked to killings

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Article
19 October 2010

US must rein in private security firms: UN experts

Author: AFP

A UN expert group on mercenaries on Tuesday urged the United States to exercise stronger official control over private security contractors in Afghanistan. The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries welcomed a US Senate committee report this month which found that Washington had failed to manage those hired to provide security under contracts worth billions of dollars, with disastrous results. However, the chairman of the UN body, Alexander Nikitin, said..."[...]there should be stronger oversight of United States' private security contractors in Afghanistan and elsewhere"..."The matters discussed in the United States Senate report are too important to be left to self-regulation of companies"...

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Article
7 October 2010

Afghans Linked to the Taliban Guard U.S. Bases

Author: James Risen, New York Times

Afghan private security forces with ties to the Taliban, criminal networks and Iranian intelligence have been hired to guard American military bases in Afghanistan, exposing United States soldiers to surprise attack and confounding the fight against insurgents, according to a Senate investigation. The Pentagon’s oversight of the Afghan guards is virtually nonexistent, allowing local security deals among American military commanders, Western contracting companies and Afghan warlords who are closely connected to the violent insurgency, according to the report by investigators on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The United States military has almost no independent information on the Afghans guarding the bases, who are employees of Afghan groups hired as subcontractors by Western firms awarded security contracts by the Pentagon... [refers to ArmorGroup (part of G4S), ArmorGroup Mine Action (part of G4S), EOD Technology]

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Article
28 September 2010

[PDF] Inquiry into the role and oversight of private security contractors in Afghanistan

Author: United States Senate Committee on Armed Services

The proliferation of private security personnel in Afghanistan is inconsistent with the counterinsurgency strategy...Afghan warlords and strongmen operating as force providers to private security contractors have acted against U.S. and Afghan government interests...Failures to adequately vet, train, and supervise armed security personnel have been widespread among...private security contractors posing grave risks to U.S. and coalition troops as well as to Afghan civilians...Private security contractors...have failed to adequately vet their armed personnel...[and have] regularly failed to satisfy...essential training requirements...The Department of Defense contracted with companies...that appear to have had no prior experience providing security services...There have been significant gaps in U.S. government oversight of private security contractors in Afghanistan... [refers to Environmental Chemical, Arya Security, Compass Integrated Security Solutions, US Protection & Investigations, HEB, Assadullah Security, Golden State Group, Nasiri Construction, Supreme Group, Tundra SCA]

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