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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

The US works its 'magic' in many ways

Friday, October 12, 2007

KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan authorities this week shut down two private security companies and said more than 10 others — some suspected of murder and robbery — would soon be closed, Afghan and Western officials said Thursday.
Authorities on Tuesday shut down the Afghan-run security companies Watan and Caps, where 82 illegal weapons were found during the two raids in Kabul, police Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal said.
A Western security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said some major Western companies were on the list of at least 10 others tapped for closure. He would not identify them.
The crackdown echoes efforts by authorities in Iraq to rein in private security contractors often accused of acting with impunity. Blackwater USA guards protecting a U.S. Embassy convoy in Baghdad are accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in a Sept. 16 shooting, an incident that enraged the Iraqi government, which is demanding millions in compensation for the victims and the removal of Blackwater in six months.
The incident in Iraq has focused attention on the nebulous rules governing private guards and added to the Bush administration's problems in managing the war in Iraq.
Dozens of security companies also operate in Afghanistan, some of them well-known U.S. firms such as Blackwater and Dyncorps, but also many others who may not be known even to the Afghan government.
The U.S. military employs some 29,000 private contractors in Afghanistan for a variety of goods and services.

Thank you to Afghan News, FISNIK ABRASHI and JASON STRAZIUSO for this Article
posted by Travis, 12:34 pm

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