Dark words of a private contractor in Afghanistan

Writer David Isenberg sets up the scene:

I received the following email from a Dyncorp contractor working in Afghanistan. He works as a trainer to the Afghan National Police. His comments below are worth reading.

But before you do you might remember that DynCorp is a member of the International Stability Operations Association, which has an elaborate Code of Conduct detailing how its companies are supposed to treat its employees. But judging from the below it appears DynCorp missed or ignored Part 6.11.

“Signatories shall provide their personnel with the appropriate training, equipment and materials necessary to perform their duties.”

“For whatever reason Dyn upper management has a severe disconnect between them and the actual workers on the ground. They have, so far, provided very little support in either equipment or services to us. I don’t think I would choose to work for them again.

“My job here is to train and assess the Afghan National Police. They want us to train them in “community policing” and teach them how to run a professional police department.…  The soldiers themselves are happy to have me because I provide a lot of experience many of them don’t have. As for the success of the mission, I am skeptical. The Afghans do not think like us and they have a very different culture. I feel that they know we will eventually leave and that things will go back to the way they were prior to our arrival. Therefore they intend to get as much from us as possible while we are here. Were I in their shoes I imagine I would do the same. But ultimately I think our mission here will fail.

“As for Dyn, here is how they handle things. The original contract I signed on for was through the Dept. Of State and it was for one year with the pay being $158,000 and 52 days of leave. After 6 months here Dyn told us the contract was being cancelled and taken over by the DOD. They told us we would be getting a new contract soon that we would have to accept or we could go home. The new contract was for $117,000 and 28 days of leave, for the same job. You should know that we are considered embedded mentors. We live and operate in shitty conditions for the most part. Dyn did a horrible job of transitioning to the new contract and lost most of the contractors, who were disgusted with their lies and unethical handling of things. Dyn meanwhile lied to the DOD, telling them that they had more than enough contractors lined up to meet the requirements of the contract when they didn’t. The new contract has taken effect and Dyn still has nowhere near the number of people they need to fulfill the contract. Due to that they recently raised the pay for the job to $144,000 and 30 days of leave. It remains to be seen if that will be enough to get more people.”

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