Karzai Abandons Plan to Ban Private Security Contractors

'Delay' Gives Way to Formal End to Plans

On August 10, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced a full ban on all private security contractors, a move which would put 40,000 out of work and, at least according to Karzai, make it easier to recruit police out of all those unemployed fighters.

By October Karzai had backed off the plan somewhat, saying it didn’t apply to the ones working for NATO (which was a large portion of them), after US condemnations of the plan, and he later announced a delay of the rest of the ban.

Even that will never come, however, as Interior Ministry officials say the plan has now been scrapped entirely and that all the security contractors still in operations will be allowed to continue.

In the mean time many of the smaller contractors have gone out of business, but larger groups, many of them controlled by warlords and other well-connected Afghans, will remain, and likely thrive now that their smaller rivals have been scared off by the threatened ban.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.