Karzai Defends Contractor Ban, Citing Corruption

Defends Intervention to Free Aide Charged With Corruption

Speaking today in an interview with ABC News, Afghan President Hamid Karzai defended his announced ban on private security contractors, claiming that they are too corrupt and might be linked to the insurgency.

I am appealing to the US taxpayer not to allow their hard-earned money to be wasted on groups that are not only providing lots of inconveniences to the Afghan people, but actually are, God knows, in contact with Mafia-like groups and perhaps also funding militants and insurgents and terrorists through those firms,” Karzai insisted.

Karzai insisted that the Afghan police would take over the responsibilities of providing all the security currently done by the 40,000 private contractors. Exactly how they will accomplish this is unclear, but he did say he would allow private contractors providing security inside embassies or buildings belonging to aid groups.

But Karzai’s citing of corruption as a reason certainly struck a chord, as Afghanistan is rife with enormous levels of corruption in virtually all levels of private and public society. During the interview Karzai also defended freeing an aide accused of corruption, insisting that the courts could not be trusted either.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.