Ivan Tulyakov (Russia)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused private military companies hired by US intelligence of working for the Taliban and organized crime.
The CIA has hired Xe Services, a private security (or military) firm better known as the controversial Blackwater, to guard facilities in Afghanistan. Details of the deal are classified. We only know that the contract is worth around $100 million, according to a report by The Washington Post that cited insider information. Xe Services has been given the assignment of providing “protective and guard services in the region.” The Washington Post’s source did not specify precisely what it is to do.
Without revealing the details of the contract, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano stressed that Xe personnel would not be involved in operations within the country. That is difficult to believe because the private American security firm Blackwater, which changed its name to Xe Services after a series of high-profile scandals, has repeatedly made international headlines.
Blackwater was founded in 1996 as a private security firm that has long since essentially become a small army of professional mercenaries. Previously, “experts” like these, who are better known as “hounds of war” or “wild geese,” were hired by international corporations to overthrow undesirable regimes in third world countries. Once the international community declared mercenaries to be outside the law, their activities began receiving “cover” from private security firms that get contracts from government agencies.
Officially, Blackwater employees guarded the head of Iraq’s civil administration. In fact, mercenaries have repeatedly carried out “special operations” in the country.
But murder will out. The New York Times reported in mid-December 2009 that Blackwater had been involved in an operation to kidnap people suspected of links with militants in Iraq. Press reports six months prior to that said that Blackwater had special death squads to kill or capture al-Qaeda leaders.
Xe Services (Blackwater) could still have been operating in Iraq today, but in September 2007 employees of the company shot 17 Iraqi civilians for no apparent reason. After that incident, which caused an explosion of anti-American sentiment in the Arab world, the Iraqi government revoked Blackwater’s license and at the same time accused the firm of selling weapons to Kurdish separatists.
But the then President George Bush spoke out in defense of the firm, which is a major contributor to the Republican Party, saying that sometimes guys guarding State Department employees have to use force. The US administration pays its “guys” well for that kind of work. Xe Services (Blackwater) contracts were worth more than $1 billion by the end of last year.
Now this infamous “wild geese” unit has received a major contract from the CIA to provide “protective and guard services” in Afghanistan. As it turns out, however, the new mercenaries are not welcomed either by the Kabul government or the Taliban.
The Taliban said that “CIA agents and mercenaries from Blackwater were [given the] infamous task in the long-term US strategy to destabilize the situation in the region.”
While the Taliban are alarmed by the actions of mercenaries taking part in secret special operations, the central government in Kabul rightly fears the emergence of a third force in the capital that would be fully capable of carrying out a coup, should their overseas “master” see the need.
The foreign private security firms, which employ about 30 thousand local residents, have a bad reputation with Afghans.
President Hamid Karzai feels that the presence of a large number of private security firms in Afghanistan discourages ordinary Afghans from joining the national army and police. “Why would an Afghan young man come to the police if he can get a job in a security firm, have a lot of leeway and without any discipline,” he said in an interview on the ABC television network.
He said that private security firm employees collaborate with “Mafia-like groups” in Afghanistan, and perhaps also with the Taliban and terrorists.
Karzai called on Americans to stop funding private security companies in his country. “I am appealing to the U.S. taxpayer not to allow their hard-earned money to be wasted on groups that are not only providing lots of inconveniences to the Afghan people, but actually are God knows in contact with Mafia-like groups and perhaps also funding militants and insurgents and terrorists through those firms.”
In Washington, Karzai’s demand to stop using private security firms was called very aggressive and provocative.
That once again indicates that activities by “wild geese” in the form of private security organizations continue to be highly important to the US administration, which apparently has lost faith in its ability to find a military solution to the war in Afghanistan. And although the secret program to physically eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders was supposedly canceled, nobody knows what mission the employees of Xe Services (Blackwater) have been given in the country. Judging by the size of the contract, it goes far beyond “guard services.”
Source: New Eastern Outlook