Senate report: U.S. contractor money aids enemy in Afghanistan

Friday - 10/8/2010, 2:16pm EDT

The army of private contractors working for the U.S. in Afghanistan threatens the safety of American troops, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee report.

Investigators are worried that the U.S. is unknowingly fostering the growth of Taliban-linked militias and that the relationship is ultimately profiting the Taliban..

The Washington Post reports that subcontracted Afghans are responsible for "perimeter security for U.S. forward operating bases, civilian installations and development projects, as well as for the truck convoys that carry most of the food, fuel, weapons and other supplies for the U.S.-led coalition."

The investigation shows a failure to properly vet, train and supervise Afghan security subcontractors, hired by U.S. and other international firms under multimillion-dollar military contracts. The report points to "squandered resources and dangerous failures in contractor performance."

The Defense Department doesn't necessarily disagree with the findings but warns that firing the estimated 26,000 private security personnel operating in Afghanistan in the near future isn't practical.

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