Karzai appeals to U.S. taxpayers
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is taking a page from the playbook of American politicians campaigning for public office: talk to the taxpayers.
Karzai is on a campaign to give the boot to tens of thousands of foreign private security guards working in Afghanistan. He’s already put the U.S. government on notice that the private security firms operating in his country will be disbanded within four months.
On Sunday, the Afghan leader took his case directly to the American people.
“I am appealing to the U.S. taxpayer not to allow their hard-earned money to be wasted on groups that are not only providing lots of inconveniences to the Afghan people but actually are, God knows, in contact with Mafia-like groups and perhaps also funding militants and insurgents and terrorists through those funds,” Karzai said on in an ABC “This Week” interview.
Karzai said the relatively high pay that foreign security firms offer is keeping Afghans from joining the police and security forces.
“Why would an Afghan young man come to the police if he can get a job in a security firm, have a lot of leeway and without any discipline?” Karzai said.
The private security firms should be banned because “they trample our people’s rights and disrupt security,” Karzai said in a speech earlier this month.
Private security contractors work mainly for Western entities, including the U.S. government, and compete for contracts worth billions. They’re not accountable to local authority.
Karzai’s decree ordering private security companies to disband is part plan for the Afghan government to take responsibility for all security in the country from 2014.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani ( Karzai speaks at the Civil Service Institute in Kabul, Aug. 7, 2010); REUTERS/Yuri Cortez/Pool (Karzai speaks during a meeting with Sen. John Kerry at the Presidential Palace in Kabul Aug. 20)