Taliban and Iranian Spies Do Force Protection for U.S. Troops

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 10 months ago

From ABC News:

A scathing Senate report says US contractors in Afghanistan have hired warlords, “thugs,” Taliban commanders and even Iranian spies to provide security at vulnerable US military outposts in Afghanistan. The report, published by the Senate Armed Services Committee, says lax oversight and “systemic failures” have led to “grave risks’ to US forces, including instances where contractors have employed Afghan subcontractors who were “linked to murder, kidnapping and bribery, as well as Taliban and anti-coalition activities.” The chairman of the committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D.-Michigan, said the report was evidence that the US needs to reduce its reliance on contractors. “We need to shut off the spigot of US dollars flowing into the pockets of warlords and power brokers who act contrary to our interests,” said Sen. Levin. The committee reviewed roughly 125 unclassified Department of Defense security contracts between 2007 and 2009, and found that there are some 26,000 private security contractors operating in Afghanistan, the majority of whom are Afghan nationals. The review found “systemic failures” of the military oversight for contracts, including the hiring of what Levin called “many too many” security contractors who had been improperly vetted, improperly trained or were not provided weapons.

In some cases, companies were awarded contracts though they had no ability to provide the services needed. In those cases, companies then quickly hired local nationals without proper vetting or security checks. The chaotic system left US facilities and personnel vulnerable to attack. The report found that some Afghan security guards simply walked off their posts at remote forward operating bases.

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the notion of hiring locals to perform force protection for the Marines would have been met with laughter and scoffing.  To be sure, the Marines embedded with the IPs, and hired Iraqis as interpreters.  They also hired the so-called Sons of Iraq to perform neighborhood watch and guard duty for gated communities.  But as for force protection proper, the Marines used Marines.

The Senator can pontificate all he wants about the need to stop the flow of dollars into the pockets of untrustworthy Afghans.  The troubled and troubling Hamid Karzai has already made illegal the hiring of non-Afghan contractors for anything except embassy force protection.  The puppet, as the Taliban call him, doesn’t very much like answering to the puppet master.  It’s almost as if he knows that the puppet master is looking for an exit.

You know there aren’t enough troops when you hire foreign spies to perform your force protection.  We should end all discussion of military doctrine surrounding force protection in our military schools.  It’s meaningless.  And no, just because I’m discussing force protection doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in force projection.  One doesn’t exclude the other, and the exercise of a little more force projection and killing the enemy while off of huge FOBs would mean the need for less force protection of U.S. troops by foreign spies.

In other words, if we were off of FOBs and if we didn’t have such a bloated support to infantry ratio, do you think this discussion would be happening right now?



  • dennis

    I think are senators just fell for karzai’s plan, and just supported him nicely. this may speed up a new way out.

  • Paul Edson

    We are in a difficult strategic and tactical situation in Afghanistan. That reality is not being addressed head on by our leadership. That we might offend Karzai, tribal elders, a fractured government in Pakistan, or so-called religious objections from the Muslim countries, all are consequences we must understand, but not allow to preclude focus on the mission which must be to defeat in detail those who intend us harm. At that point the sensitivities of those mentioned above can be managed comfortably. It must be in the management style of Solomon, draconian to modern sensitivities, demanding that those judged and managed understand the reality of the situation.
    The issue is cultural and our political leadership reflects our culture. It is difficult for the population of this country in particular to imagine the reality, and impossible to deal with it. We will try to put out the fire with too little water and the fire will burn and burn and burn.
    When at last the public tire of the cost and perhaps even comes to grips with the reality, we will withdraw from Afghanistan and let that fire do as it will. Petraeus can come home to his family. The consequences? Perhaps the factions of Islam will attack each other and the Jihad will self destruct. Or, perhaps we will fight the extremism elsewhere.

  • http://umc-unofficiallaymanopenforum.ning.com/ Warbucks

    Dear Wali,

    I just need to alert you that our American guests have suddenly overstepped all bounds of decency in Pakistan. Did you hear the news? They interrupted the poppy shipment worth $5-million (US)! That’s $75-million street-value. You may want to evaluate things for us here at home in light of this nasty turn of events. It seems the Americans may be sending a signal that they figure certain Pakistani leaders will understand – pocketbook economics — to get our roads back open at the pass.

    You know, Wali, this war could really turn nasty if the American’s figure out what its all about.

    ABP

    Karzai

  • TS Alfabet

    Not only is Sen. Levin’s tirade largely irrelevant in light of Karzai’s abolition of non-Afghan security contractors, but it is blatantly hypocritical.

    Who is he kidding? If we end our “reliance on contractors” does he advocate the huge increase in funding required to add soldiers and Marines to A-stan to replace those contractors? I didn’t think so.

    More of this damn posturing by politicians. If only November 2nd would make a real difference. Here’s to hoping.

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You are currently reading "Taliban and Iranian Spies Do Force Protection for U.S. Troops", entry #5587 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Force Projection,Force Protection and was published October 8th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

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