Following up on last week’s announcement that he wanted to disband all private security forces in the country, Afghan President Hamid Karzai today set a firm date, saying that every such company would be disbanded within 4 months.
The order would put an estimated 40,000 such contractors out of work, largely Afghan nations whom President Karzai says he hopes will eventually join the police or the military, shoring up the struggles in recruiting for those forces.
Indeed, last week Karzai’s comments gave the appearance that his primary opposition to the contractors was that they are competition for his government’s security forces. Recruits in the Afghan police are extremely poorly paid, poorly trained, and face enormous danger.
Though private contracting can be dangerous work as well, the private companies have gone to additional measures, including controversial tactics like bribing local insurgents to leave them alone, which suggest that it might be at least marginally safer.