Kabul today announced it plans to replace U.S. militant contractors with Afghan militants. Jack Rice—criminal defense attorney, journalist and former C.I.A. analyst—discussed why he doesn’t expect U.S. military contractors out of Afghanistan soon. He stressed that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s puppet status, the size of the corporate force machine occupying the country and political motivations igniting recent Newspeak at RT, yesterday evening (6:13):
Widely reported yesterday was Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s plans that “private security firms in Afghanistan will be disbanded within four months, and replaced by the Afghan police force”, as the London Guardian reported and, citing a spreadsheet they posted online, added:
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), there are around 112,000 contractors employed by the U.S. military currently working in Afghanistan. Of those, 16,733 are private security contractors (P.S.C.’s), protecting personnel, convoys and bases. By contrast, 11,610 of the 95,000 DoD contractors in Iraq work in the private security field.
Those employed in Afghanistan are overwhelmingly Afghan nationals; 70% of all contractors and 93% of P.S.C.’s, compared to just 18% of all contractors and only 10% of P.S.C.’s working in Iraq who are Iraqi. Only 0.8% of contractors in Afghanistan who work in private security are American citizens (9% in Iraq).
The ratio of contractors to troops also differs between the two theatres of war. In Afghanistan, there are 1.42 contractors to every U.S. soldier, while in Iraq the ratio is much lower at 1:1.
Targeted are the P.S.C.’s, which the Afghan government has claimed to make attempts logging, but unsuccessfully, Paul Tait reported today at Reuters adding: “Western officials said there were 52 registered private security companies, employing about 26,000 personnel, and many more unregistered.”
Though numerous incidents of P.S.C. operations have resulting in civilian casualties that frequently infuriate the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Afghan population, U.S. officials insist the corporate force agents are imperative for the U.S.-financed “reconstruction and development assistance efforts”, the report added. The political issue might strike deeper.
“A U.N.-backed elections watchdog has already blocked dozens of candidates from taking part in the September 18 election because of their links to private militias,” Reuters also reported today in an article stating that more than 900 polling centers will not open for the election, citing “security fears, an official said on Wednesday, adding to concerns after a fraud-marred presidential vote last year”. The “some 938” consist of almost 14% of the 6,835 centers the Afghan Independent Election Commission had planned to open.
Coincidentally, the Afghan Interior Ministry announced U.S.-backed plans to recruit, train and hire 10,000 private militiamen to join the Afghan National Police in the next two months, the Agence France-Presse (A.F.P) reported today. Considering that 16,733 P.S.C.’s recorded by the Guardian are from the U.S., Afghan P.S.C.’s can do little more than change uniforms and conform to modified chains of command.
Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Munir Mangal told reporters, according to the A.F.P., that planned recruiting efforts will target “the southern, eastern and southwestern regions of the country where insurgent violence is most intense”.
According to U.S. officials, pretty consistently, non-governmental Afghans taking up arms are “militants”. The government and media have even restrained from using “Taliban operatives” or “insurgents” when relaying death tolls of U.S.-NATO operations throughout the territory.
The A.F.P. even refers to the initiative as an “Iraq-style militia force”.
We’re seeing the repeat of Iraq right before our eyes. The U.S. and Afghan government are beginning aggressive campaigns to bribe those who resist the occupation forces and the Kabul puppet-government. All of the P.S.C.’s won’t go away, Jack Rice is correct, and there is a half-truth is that the minimal manpower that will leave will be replaced in quantity by Afghans, but the A.N.P. who will enforce the Kabul-Washington policy will be the same people included as ‘enemy casualties’ were they killed today.