Afghanistan Disarms Security Contractors
Including the artist formerly known as Blackwater
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2010 2:10 PM CDT
A US contractor looks away from a dust cloud whipped up by a helicopter departing over the gatepost at Combat Outpost Terra Nova in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in this July 19, 2010 file photo.   (AP)

(Newser) – Afghanistan has begun disbanding the private security firms operating in the country, the Karzai administration announced today. Authorities have seized more than 400 weapons so far, according to Reuters. At the moment they're focusing on eight companies, including Xe Services, the artist formerly known as Blackwater, two other American firms and one British firm.

Authorities say their initial targets are illegal armed groups, companies with temporary permits, and those who’ve been allegedly linked with criminal acts. But the closures have annoyed Karzai’s foreign allies, who doubt that Afghan forces are ready to pick up the slack, according to the LA Times. In a speech yesterday, an aggrieved Karzai said that Afghan forces need to take over, because “it is possible that one day the international community … will leave us, like they left us in the past.”