Karzai Insists Contractor Ban ‘Firm,’ But Opens Door to More Revisions

Will Ban Have Any Impact Left?

Though Afghan President Hamid Karzai reiterated today that he is “committed” to seeing through his long-promised ban on private security contractors, growing pressure from Western nations to tone down the ban even more than he already has seems to be having an impact.

President Karzai already announced last week that he would allow NATO forces to continue employing the contractors for on-base security as well as for diplomatic convoys. This covers a significant portion on its own, but it seems more revisions are coming.

Because even as he talks about the ban President Karzai is soliciting a list of aid projects that believe they need private security, and suggested the government would “make a decision” regarding these. This is the other major employer of private contractors, and officials warned that the ban could have affected $1.5 billion in US-funded projects across the nation.

The Karzai ban was initially about driving the employers of some 40,000-50,000 contractors out of business, hoping that the contractors would join the police instead. Between the revisions already in place and those which are yet to come, it seems the contractors will remain more or less in place, with the official ban serving as yet another empty promise by the Afghan government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.