Contractors Threaten Progress in Afghanistan

Mercenaries drain local military, fight for Taliban
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2010 4:42 PM CDT
Contractors Threaten Progress in Afghanistan
In this July 19, 2010 file photo, A U.S. contractor looks away from a dust cloud whipped up by a helicopter departing over the gatepost at Combat Outpost Terra Nova in Kandahar, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

Though military experts have been cautioning against the expanding use of private military contractors since at least the days of Blackwater's string of shoot-outs in Iraq, a consensus is growing that the Pentagon's reliance on contractors in Afghanistan is actually impeding the war's progress, reports the Christian Science Monitor. For one thing, the lucrative market for private contracting has created a "brawn drain" for the Afghanistan military—the entity supposed to take over from allied troops someday.

"We get them trained up and certified, and the contractors hire them for more money," one security analyst tells the Monitor. The result is a ballooning population of mercenaries-for-hire that constitutes "a threat that is almost as great as the insurgency," he says. "And that is a government that has so many forces corrupting it that it can't win the support of the people."
(More Afghanistan stories.)

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