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Report: Afghan security force ineffective, expensive for U.S. projects

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A state-run security force in Afghanistan cannot perform even basic functions and is charging the Obama administration for some services it is not providing, a U.S. government watchdog reported Tuesday.

The Afghan Public Protection Force, which President Hamid Karzai created in 2010 after banning private U.S. security contractors from the country, is woefully inadequate in protecting U.S.-funded development projects, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

"One implementing partner stated that the [Afghan] officers are not able to perform daily roll call functions, and two implementing partners reported that the officers do not speak English, which is required," the report says.

Under a temporary agreement with Afghanistan, U.S. project managers are filling security gaps by relying on "risk management consultants" — in some instances, the same previously banned private security contractors.

But in the near future, the Afghan Public Protection Force will become the sole provider of security services for those projects, and could force the U.S. to pay "unrestrained cost increases," the report says.

Already, the average cost for Afghan Public Protection Force services has increased as much as 47 percent since 2011, and those services are "often inconsistent and inappropriate."

The report notes that the Afghan Public Protection Force charges U.S. project managers for services that are being performed by the risk management consultants, adding that "a favorable relationship with the [Afghan force] could result in lower fees for some line items."

"These costs could increase even more over time, and implementing partners — left with no other options for local armed guard services — would have no choice but to pay the higher prices," the report says.

The report can be found at http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/audits/SIGAR%20Audit%2013-15%20APPF.pdf

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