US eyes private guards for bases in Afghanistan
Washington: US military authorities in Afghanistan may hire a private contractor to provide around-the-clock security at dozens of bases and protect vehicle convoys moving throughout the country.
The possibility of awarding a security contract comes as the Obama administration is sending thousands of more troops into Afghanistan to quell rising violence fuelled by a resurgent Taliban. As the number of American forces grow over the next several months, so too does the demand to guard their outposts.
Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said he wants to cut back on the use of contractors that now provide a wide range services to American troops in war zones, including transportation, communications, food service, construction, and maintenance. As recently as February, however, Gates called the use of private security contractors in certain parts of Afghanistan "vital" to supporting US bases. A contract for the work also creates job opportunities for Afghans, he said.
But the use of private contractors in Iraq has been highly contentious. Since a September 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians in Baghdad by guards employed by Blackwater (now Xe Services), critics have urged US officials to maintain much tighter controls over hired guards.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Army published a notice July 10 informing interested contractors it was contemplating a contract for "theatre-wide" armed security.
"The contract would provide for a variety of security services, to include the static security of compounds on which US and coalition forces reside, and for the protection of mission essential convoys in and around forward operating bases located throughout Afghanistan," the notice states.
No formal request for proposals has been issued. If the military decides to move ahead, a contract could be awarded by December 01.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indian Army conducts surgical strikes across LoC: Watch DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh's PC
- Indian Army targets terror camps across LoC; Pak PM Sharif condemns
- Pak forces will teach Zee News what real surgical strike is: Hafiz Saeed
- 7 terror camps destroyed by Indian Army in surgical strikes
- DNA: Indian Army carries out surgical strikes across LoC
- Hafiz Saeed threatens Zee News, says Pak forces will teach what real surgical strikes are
- What is surgical strike and how it is conducted - MUST KNOW for every Indian
- Pak postpones SAARC Summit after five member states pull out of conference: As it happened
- SALUTE! Brave Indian army commandos give befitting reply to Pak-sponsored terrorists
- Surgical strikes across LoC in Pakistan were filmed, videos kept as proof