Skip to comments.Afghan aid projects at risk over security firm ban
Posted on 10/21/2010 6:17:06 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
WASHINGTON The Obama administration is scrambling to avert a crisis over a ban on private security companies in Afghanistan that could force the cancellation or delay of billions of dollars in reconstruction projects considered vital to counterterrorism efforts, officials said Thursday.
U.S. diplomats are preparing for a weekend of tough negotiations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his aides to persuade them to revise the ban that, as it now stands, would bar private security guards from protecting non-governmental and nonmilitary facilities in Afghanistan, the officials said. The ban is set to take effect in mid-December.
"As is, if this was to be enacted tomorrow, a lot of assistance would grind to a halt," said one senior U.S. official familiar with the circumstances. That official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive issue.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that the ban could impact about $1.5 billion in U.S.-funded projects in Afghanistan. But the officials said the impact likely would be far greater, affecting billions of dollars in foreign-funded initiatives from road, bridge and school construction projects to teaching and agriculture initiatives.
(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...
well like no one saw that coming!
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