U.S. contractors hiring Taliban to provide “security” in Afghanistan?

In two specific cases, the report charges that ArmorGroup and a contracting company EODT, hired private security guards who worked for Taliban-connected warlords. According to the report, a US military official initially recommended that ArmorGroup hire the warlord to help provide guards to fulfill a contract. After US military officials at a Western Afghanistan airbase discovered that Afghan security guards were passing sensitive security and troop information to the Taliban, the guards were fired. Within days, the fired guards were hired by a second contractor to supply security at a second US facility just a few miles north, the report claims. EODT, the report alleges, had two Afghans on their payroll who were known to US military intelligence as Iranian agents. The report describes a chaotic warzone where security contracts bordered on the absurd. In some instances, Senate staffers said on background, guards were not given weapons or were provided with defective weapons. Some Afghan contractors assigned to Afghan police training centers were paid more than the recruits, resulting in the police trainees quitting and going to work as private security for the base. In one case, a Marine lance corporal was killed by an Afghan insurgent who was employed as a private security contractor on a US military contract. The report did not make any recommendations to the Pentagon about how to curtail the abuses and violations discovered in the investigation, but Sen. Levin was adamant that the US military has too many private security contractors in Afghanistan. “Our reliance on private security contractors in Afghanistan has too often empowered local warlords and powerbrokers who operate outside the Afghan government’s control and act against coalition interests,” Levin said. “The situation threatens the security of our troops and puts the success of our mission at risk.”