19 August 2010

Trolling for Bribes

Hamid Karzai is planning to ban the operations of private military contractors (PMCs, aka mercenaries) by the end of this year:
President Hamid Karzai is planning to sign a decree this week ordering the disbanding of all private security forces by the end of the year, his spokesman said Monday.

But it is not clear how the move, which would constitute an extraordinary change in the security makeup of the country, could be carried out. There are at least 24,000 private armed guards in the country, some foreign but most Afghan, and there is no immediately available alternative for the array of crucial tasks they perform.
This being Hamid Karzai, my guess is that this will not be fully implemented in time or in a consistent manner, but that is like saying the sky is blue.

As to the motivations for his doing this, I see three main policy goals here:
  • An attempt to ameliorate some of the outrage among Afghan citizens who are the ones on the wrong ends of the Mercenary's bullets.
  • He wants to ensure that whoever is allowed to continue will be people whom he has vetted as being supportive of him.
  • Any mercenary operations allowed to continue will have to pay some sort of bribes to him and his family.
I am a cynic on such matters.


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