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News Link • Contractors, Government & Military

Hired guns prove trouble for Karzai

• Evan Hill

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has issued a decreethat may put an end to the enormous and lucrative business of providing private security in his war-torn country.

According to Karzai's decree, the government will dissolve all foreign and domestic security companies by December, making jobless the tens of thousands of locals and foreigners employed in the industry.

Many powerful Afghans have a hand in the private security business, and eliminating their income would almost assuredly upset the balance of power throughout the country, not to mention force foreign diplomatic personnel and other aid organisations to quickly find adequate security in a land rife with danger.

But hired guns, both local and foreign, have also proved to be a headache for Karzai, killing and wounding civilians and exercising prince-like control over supply lines, in the process making the Afghan government appear as a sideshow in the provision of development and stability to its own people.


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