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As U.S. Draws Down in Afghanistan, Role Continues for Private Security Firms

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

The sacrifices of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan have been widely reported, but the U.S. war effort has relied heavily on private firms to provide a variety of services, including armed security for convoys and installations. As NATO draws down in Afghanistan and struggles with budget constraints, the United States and others will almost certainly continue rely on these firms, which have attracted scrutiny and criticism over the years.

“After the United States leaves Afghanistan, the private security industry will grow,” explains Sean McFate of the Atlantic Council in an email interview, given that “the United States and others in Afghanistan will [rely] on these firms increasingly as troops exit the country, leaving a security vacuum.” The United States has “somewhat legitimized these companies after employing them for a decade,” McFate says, and other countries may follow the U.S. example. ...

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