Long after most Western forces have left, private security firms will still be there turning a profit (via EU Observer):
The EU’s external action service (EEAS) plans to spend up to €50 million on private security guards for its Afghanistan mission over the next four years.
The EEAS unveiled the tender on Thursday (10 May), saying the money would be spent on “protection of staff, their families in the country, visitors from headquarters or other EU institutions, the premises and the goods of the EU delegation in Afghanistan.”
The contract – valued at between €30 million and €50 million plus VAT – is to cover at least 100 security guards, as well as “mobile patrol teams, equipment [and] armoured cars.”
It is aiming to sign up a big company with prior experience in Afghanistan – the winning bidder must have an annual turnover of at least €20 million and 400 staff.
Five companies are eligible to compete – the Hungarian-based Argus, Canada’s Gardaworld, British firms G4S and Page Group, and French company Geos – after getting on an EEAS private security shortlist last year.
The tender also stipulates applicants must present “an official document issued from the competent Afghan authority that certifies that the company is entitled to operate security services in Afghanistan” before the contract is signed.
It must also “be compliant with the Karzai decree concerning private security companies in Afghanistan (Presidential Decree 62),” referring to a ruling by Afghan leader Hamid Karzai in 2010 regulating the sector.
The EEAS has faced criticism for its handling of a recent tender on Libya after it signed a €10 million contract with G4S despite the fact it does not have permission from Libya’s post-war authority, the National Transitional Council (NTC), to operate on its territory. The EEAS says it does not need permission. But the NTC says it does.
The legal situation in Afghanistan creates room for confusion.