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US Hiring ‘Blackwater’ Afghan Security?

From a seemingly unfazed Washington Post:

Blackwater Worldwide Security

Military Weighs Private Security on Front Lines

Firm Could Have Broad Protection Authority in Afghanistan

By Walter Pincus
Sunday, July 26, 2009

The U.S. military command is considering contracting a private firm to manage security on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan, even as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says that the Pentagon intends to cut back on the use of private security contractors.

On a Web site listing federal business opportunities, the Army this month published a notice soliciting information from prospective contractors who would develop a security plan for 50 or more forward operating bases and smaller command outposts across Afghanistan.

Although the U.S. military has contracted out security services to protect individuals, military bases and other facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, this contract would award a commercial company unusually broad "theater-wide" authority to protect forward operating bases in a war zone.

"The contractor shall be responsible for providing security services, developing, implementing, adequately staffing, and managing a security program," the notice said, adding that the contractor would have to be available "24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The U.S. military currently has 72 contracts that provide 5,600 civilian guards, mostly local Afghans, at forward bases across Afghanistan, according to Lt. Cmdr. Christine M. Sidenstricker, chief of media operations for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. The intent of the proposed contract is to bring all "disparate and subordinate contracts" under single, theater-wide management at a time when the U.S. forces are expanding, she said.

The Army has not issued a formal proposal for a contract, but the notice says that interested companies should reply by Wednesday and that a formal request for proposals should follow. The "anticipated award date" for a contract is Dec. 1, according to the notice.

The request for information comes as Gates is moving to put soldiers back in charge of security roles that contractors have filled in recent years. Drawing on its experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department recently organized a task force to measure the military’s dependence on contractor support in training and security, with the goal of determining an appropriate mix.

Lawmakers, too, have raised concerns about the cost of contractors and about outsourcing what have traditionally been government roles…

Gee, it seems like only yesterday we were hearing what terribly irresponsible ‘cowboys’ private security contractors like Blackwater are.

But now the name of Blackwater does not even warrant a mention in this article.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 26th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “US Hiring ‘Blackwater’ Afghan Security?”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    Almost surprised they even printed it.

  2. rakkasan says:

    Blackwater is now called Xe Services LLC, just to let people know. As soon as the media figures that out they will pounce on that as well. Contractors have always served the military more or less depending on the decade and overall do a great service.

  3. canary says:

    The Times: Guthrie: Government ‘letting down’ troops, ‘misleading the public’
    Alice Thomson, Rachel Sylvester July 25, 2009

    About Afghanistan, he said: “It’s no good the Prime Minister one moment saying success is all important and then for the sake of a few extra helicopters and 200 men allowing the mission in Afghanistan to fail.
    You can’t go to war in a penny-pinching way.”

    His remarks are a fresh blow to Mr Brown, who is already accused of failing to supply enough men or helicopters.

    Lord Guthrie, still Colonel Commandant of the SAS, says a fundamental rethink is needed of Britain’s defence capabilities in the light of the rise of Islamist terrorism and the end of the Cold War.

    The four Trident submarines, which are due to be replaced at a cost of £20 billion – should be phased out and replaced with

    “the cheapest possible nuclear deterent you could get away with,” he adds.

    “Ideally – but quite unrealistically – you would fire it off the back of a Land Rover … There are different ways of delivering it.

    If you look at Pakistan they haven’t got boats at sea, they strap weapons on to aircraft. They don’t tie up as much of the defence budget as we do.”

    Warfare has changed dramatically in recent years, with the rise of al-Qaeda, he says. “In the Cold War there were rules of the game, we deterred each other. Nowadays it’s extremely difficult to deter some forms of terrorism.

    Lord Guthrie says the lives of British soldiers are being put at risk . …

    And when Alistair Darling says we will give the army everything it asks for, that is patently not true.”

    ” Mr Brown, he adds, has never “cared” about the armed forces.
    “He said to me once: ‘you don’t think I understand defence, do you?’ I said ‘no you don’t’.”

    “When we could have made a decent investment we didn’t. Gordon Brown focused on health and education rather than defence. That means we’re not prepared.”


  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Point of procedure ………. Troops on the front line are called “Military”.
    Private security on the front lines are called “Mercenaries”, “Hired Guns” and “Pipe Hitters”!!!!!

    I know!

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