New Day for Private Security in Afghanistan



The US Central Command and US Forces Afghanistan are on the lookout for a private security contractor that might be able to field up to 600 security guards to keep watch over the walls and gates of Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan at some point in the near future.

In a notice posted on Oct. 8 on a government contracting Web site, US Forces-Afghanistan that “The requirement calls for an approximate of 500-600 guards, armorers, and management personnel,” 30 percent of whom must come from the so-called “Five  Eyes”   nations of the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with the remaining 70 percent coming from other NATO countries.

There’s no formal requirement or solicitation just yet, and the notice says pretty explicitly that the government is simply looking for interested parties that can field 600 guards within 45-60 days form a formal contract offer.

By the end of the year US troop levels in Afghanistan will fall to 9,800, with another 3,000 – 5,000 NATO troops sticking around as well through the end of 2016. And while those remaining forces will be focused solely on training and advising the Afghan Army, Air Force, police and border patrol mostly at the leader and Ministerial level in Kabul and a few other sites, jobs like security for the major bases will have to be outsourced to private companies.

Private contractors—who do almost all of the cooking, construction and basic utility work on NATO bases in Afghanistan—have long outnumbered uniformed troops in country. In March of this year, there were about 66,000 US troops serving in Afghanistan, supported by a whopping 108,000 contractors.


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Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
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