Karzai Orders All Private Security Disbanded

Some 40,000 Contractors to Be Urged to 'Join the Police'

Government hates competition, and this announcement would perhaps be a fascinating historical anecdote on this fact, were it not of more immediate concern as a massive change in the structuring of the Afghan War, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has announced that he is banning all private security in Afghanistan.

The announcement will put somewhere in the realm of 40,000 private contractors out of work. Security contractors have been responsible for a large portion of the Afghan War, but have come under fire recently as some have been accused of bribing the Taliban.

Yet it is not this allegation that is the problem. President Karzai insists he literally objects to the competition that these security groups pose to his government.

We cannot tolerate these companies, which are like a parallel structure with our forces. We cannot have police, army and — at the same time — another force as private security companies,” Karzai said in a statement.

“They are not working for the benefit of Afghan national interests,” he went on, adding “if they really want to be at the service of Afghans they should join Afghan National Police.” The Afghan police have struggled to recruit, as they are extremely poorly paid, even by Afghan standards, poorly trained, and are killed at an alarming rate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.