House Bill Aims to Bar Afghans From Guarding US Bases in Afghanistan

Bill Comes Amid Growing Violence

With rising anti-US sentiment across Afghanistan in the wake of last week’s Quran burning and two more US soldiers killed today by an Afghan soldier, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R – CA) has introduced a new bill banning Afghan soldiers from serving as guards on US bases in Afghanistan.

McKeon held a hearing on rising “friendly fire” killings by Afghan forces just last month, and defended the bill, saying the war is “bad enough” without the US occupation forces having to worry about security while on base.

McKeon went on to say that allowing Afghan forces and private contractors to provide security on base was a “serious flaw” and that the bill would “address these serious issues.” The bill technically wouldn’t be binding, since a president could simply “certify” that private contractors or Afghan forces are “at least equal” to the US soldiers in the task.

It is unclear how the bill will be received by the Afghan government, which has been pushing for increased control over the country, but it will likely not appreciate being ousted from the US bases.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.