Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Canada’s hired guns in Afghanistan slammed in U.S. Senate report

The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.”

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Canada spent more than $41 million on hired guns in Afghanistan over four years, much of it going to security companies slammed by the U.S. Senate for having warlords on the payroll.

Both the Defence and Foreign Affairs departments have employed 11 security contractors in Kabul and Kandahar since 2006, but have kept quiet about the details.

Now documents tabled in Parliament at the request of the New Democrats provide the first comprehensive picture of the use of private contractors, which have been accused of adding to the chaos in Afghanistan.

The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.”

The company, which has since been taken over by G4S Risk Management, provided security around the Canadian embassy in Kabul and guarded diplomats.

Tundra SCA stands on guard for the Defence Department outside Canadian military forward operating bases and has collected more than $5.3 million.

The U.S. Senate report included Tundra on a list of companies that poach staff from Afghan security forces — something that has long angered President Hamid Karzai, who last year moved to eject all private security from the country.

More than $438,000 of the Afghan-owned, Canadian-run company’s expenses remain secret, for operational security reasons. But Tundra’s website, unlike other contractors, promotes its intelligence “gathering and analyzing” abilities.

A Kandahar warlord, with links to former governor Gul Agha Sherzai, earned $2.5 million since 2008 providing security outside of the provincial reconstruction base.

Col. Haji Toorjan employed a 40-man militia. But there are questions about how much was spent for his service because the documents tabled in the House of Commons are not consistent with access-to-information records and published reports that show he was on the payroll in 2007.

More than $3.4 million went to Washington, D.C.-based Blue Hackle to guard the governor of Kandahar and train his security detail. Canada started paying that expense in 2008, after Karzai replaced the notorious Asadullah Khalid, who was accused of human-rights abuses and had his own private militia known as Brigade 888.

Please read the entire story here

February 7, 2011 - Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , ,

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