Los Angeles 10/8/2010 6:02:57 PM
News / Politics

UN, US Security Contracts Benefiting Afghan Warlords, Report Say

Afghan feudal lords, with links to Taliban, are gaining from the UN and US approved planning and construction projects in Afghanistan, according to a report by the US government.

Several individuals, with strong ties to Taliban, a militant outfit fighting the US military in Afghanistan, were appointed as security guards for protection of the project sites like the expansion at the Shindand Airbase, says a report from the Senate Armed services committee released on Thursday night.

These contracts were granted to companies such as ArmorGroup North American, a subsidiary of the UK-based security company, or ArmorGroup Mine Action.

The report said, "The Committee's inquiry revealed that ArmorGroup, AGMA, and EODT relied on local warlords and regional strongmen to supply men, and in some cases weapons, for use on their contracts".

According to the report, some decisions of the private security companies severely undermined the likelihood of an effective Afghan government, in addition to posing severe threats to the US and coalition forces present in the country.

Furthermore, many private security guards were hired without any history check. The majority of these security personnel were provided to ArmorGroup by two feudal lords- Nadir Khan and Timor Shah.

A review of a security service provider in charge of a specific camp in 2008 found out that "command and control was lacking the region" and most guards didn't check the trucks of their boss because of the risk of being fired. However, despite all this, the recruitment of these guards continued for many months, a period that saw sharp rise in violence.