The Senate Armed Services Committee released a report Thursday on the role and oversight of the Department of Defense’s use of private security contractors (PSCs) in Afghanistan. The report used two case studies to summarize a year-long Committee investigation of Department of Defense (DOD) PSC contracts in Afghanistan.
The report listed 12 conclusions including: PSCs operating under DOD contracts failed to adequately vet personnel, provide adequate training and that the Department failed to address contract deficiencies in a timely fashion.
In dissenting views, the Committee’s Republican members stated, “To the extent that the committee report implies that the decision to rely on private security contractors in Afghanistan was a grave mistake that undercut our larger strategic objectives there, the report simply fails to acknowledge the lack of other feasible options given the commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and the limited number of U.S. coalition, and Afghan Security Forces available at the time to provide routine security throughout Afghanistan.” They further asserted that the report did not give a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of using PSCs when other options were limited.
IPOA President Doug Brooks stated, “While we are concerned about the use of two major case studies as the means by which an entire industry is judged, we support oversight of PSCs by Congress. IPOA continues to urge Congress to adopt provisions to strengthen transparency and accountability including those in the House passed version of the FY11 National Defense Authorization Act requiring use of “best value” contracts and the establishment of a third party certification process for the industry.”
IPOA is currently reviewing the contents of the report and looks forward to having an open dialogue with the committee. In an effort to facilitate further discussion, IPOA is making the report available to its members.