The Afghan government is looking at phasing out private security firms in the war-torn nation over the next 12 months, according to Afghan and international officials.
The Afghan Public Protection Force and the Ministry of Defense would take over the responsibility for the security of international development projects and NATO supply convoys at the end of the 12-month period, according to details of the plan released late Tuesday (March 15), as reported by The New York Times.
The new time frame is seen to address concerns that the ban has been causing the delay in the implementation of some USD6 billion worth of approved U.S. aid projects in Afghanistan.
>> Afghan Ban on Private Security Firms Holding Off USD6B US Aid
The ban was decreed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in August and was originally scheduled to be enforced Dec. 17. It has prompted some U.S. development firms to cancel reconstruction projects.
>> Afghanistan Defers Private Security Service Ban
Under the new time frame, foreign embassies and organizations with diplomatic missions could continue using private security firms “at their discretion,” NYT reports.
Other organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development could continue tapping private security services over the next 12 months.
Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, a coalition of contractors for U.S. government programs worldwide, said the new time line “gives us some time to work toward that goal without some arbitrary, short-term deadline.”
Read more about U.S. development aid.