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Paul Hair is a national security expert and an author. He writes under his own name and as a ghostwriter. Connect with him at http://www.liberateliberty.com/. Contact him at paul@liberateliberty.com.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Contractors: Afghanistan Attack Occurred after Withdrawal of Private Security Contractors

Private security contractors continue having a bad image associated with them yet two stories over the past year indicate that the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan may be in part due to the reduction of private security contractors.

A story in Stars & Stripes just over a year ago covered the results of an inspector general report on contractors in Afghanistan. “Report: Replacement force for private security contractors ineffective,” bluntly summarized the IG assessment:
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the Afghan Public Protection Force hasn’t been able to effectively replace private security contractors as mandated by a 2010 decree from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The article later noted:
The APPF, with more than 10,000 guards, charges clients for its services and was supposed to take over external security for facilities like military contractors’ compounds, foreign aid projects and NATO military bases, but the handover deadline has been delayed since 2011. 
The actual impact of the APPF’s alleged failures has been minimal on USAID projects, SIGAR noted, but only because the agency turned to so-called “risk management companies,” which are supposed to provide advice, not active security, to fill the gaps.
The impact of the APPF failure became worse than “minimal” in April of 2014 when an APPF member murdered three people in a hospital in Kabul:
John Gabel, a guest lecturer at Kabul University, and his father, Gary Gabel, of Palatine, were killed Thursday when an Afghan government security guard opened fire on a group of Americans at Cure International Hospital in Kabul. 
Dr. Jerry Umanos, of Chicago, also was killed in the attack. . . . 
The attacker served in the Afghan Public Protection Force and was assigned to guard the hospital, officials said. His motive wasn’t clear.
Few, if any, media or national security analysts have noted the negative impact that the drawdown of private security contractors has had in Afghanistan. And it remains to be seen how much attention national leaders will pay to what has happened as they consider how to use private security contractors in the future.

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