It would be up to the Afghan National Police (ANP) to provide security for US military fuel and supply convoys bound for Afghanistan, along with storage depots inside the country, if a ban on private security firms is implemented. Experts believe such a potential development would be a disaster waiting to happen.
To date, private security firms have guarded fuel convoys and fuel depots. However, the Pentagon says it can no longer work with contractors who intend to use private security firms, even though fuel convoys are a favorite target of Taliban militants.
“On August 17, 2010, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai issued a decree formalizing a four-month deadline for private security companies to disband, and that security within Afghanistan is an internal Afghan issue to resolve. The Afghan police are expected to provide the requisite security heretofore provided by mobile private security contractors,” Mimi Schirmacher, a spokeswoman for Defense Logistics Agency said on October 22.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.