Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/5/09

Shadow Army Now Outnumbers U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   3 comments
Author 7416
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola
Become a Fan
  (65 fans)
- Advertisement -

Copyrighted Image? DMCA

An unfortunate milestone in the war in Afghanistan was reported this week: private contractors have outnumbered U.S. troops in Afghanistan since March. Contractors now make up "57 percent of the Pentagon's Afghanistan personnel."

The highest ratio of contractors to military personnel recorded in any war in the history of the United States now exists in Afghanistan, according to a recently released report by a Congressional research group.

- Advertisement -

Of particular importance, the report concludes that "abuses and crimes committed by armed private security contractors and interrogators against local nationals may have undermined US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan."

That's not surprising. Every day another news link detailing some abuse, mistreatment, violence, neglect, or crime committed by private contractors enters my inbox. If it isn't the CIA that's in the news for something criminal, it's a private contractor instead.

This week Americans were treated to i mages of private security guards from ArmorGroup at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul "participating in naked pool parties and sex acts to gain promotions or assignment to preferable shifts."

- Advertisement -

ABC News reported that top supervisors at ArmorGroup (whose corporate parent is Wackenhut) were not only aware of the "deviant sexual acts." They helped to organize them.

A segment on Rachel Maddow September 3rd explored the issue of abuses and misconduct committed by private contractors while also exploring how difficult it is to hold private contractors accountable.

MADDOW: We got 2007 investigation by the State Department. We've got a follow-up investigation by the Senate. We've got in the midst of all of this, a re-upping of the contracts for these guys.

What's your take on how the State Department now is handling this? Obviously, the track record was bad. The contract was re-upped this past summer. But what do you think about the way they've responded to you now and what they're doing in terms of taking remedial action?

BRIAN: Well, I was happy to just get a call about an hour or two ago from the State Department that actually, the number three at the embassy is asked to come over to be briefed by us at POGO next week. So, that's a good sign. What worries me, though, is I've had an e-mail that was circulated to all the guards that told them that while State Department investigators are there, interviewing all the people at the base, they are not aloud to speak to State Department investigator without a supervisor being there with them...

...MADDOW: Is it harder to pursue accountability generally when government functions are contracted out to private companies? Does that create another layer of insulation for people who act criminally or inappropriately or wastefully on the taxpayers' dime?

- Advertisement -

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Kevin Gosztola Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

We Do Not Consent to Warrantless "Porno-Scanning" in Airports

Do They Put Lipstick on Pigs at the Funny Farm?

How Private Prison Corporations Hope Arizona's SB1070 Will Lead to Internment Camps for Illegals

Why the Battle Against TSA Groping and Body Scanners is Justified

Give Obama a Chance to Do What?