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The Baghdadization of Kabul?

There’s a haunting paragraph in Nancy Youssef’s dispatch from Kabul today. She writes about the influx of U.S. diplomats and other civilians to Kabul --

Jul 31, 2020
There’s a haunting paragraph in Nancy Youssef’s dispatch from Kabul today. She writes about the influx of U.S. diplomats and other civilians to Kabul — generally considered a Good Thing, even if their activities may be less necessary in the capitol than in the provinces but whatever — and how their presence is, ironically, making the city’s residents feel anxious, not safer. Why? Well, among other reasons:
It’s not just State Department employees who come with their own security details outfitted with huge SUVs and pointed weapons. Afghan government officials now travel in similar fashion, leaving drivers flummoxed about what to do to get out of the way. Some convoys pull up to sedans and point guns at the drivers, others set up checkpoints with varying rules on how not to get shot and still others simply close off roads that Afghans once traveled freely on.
When there’s foreign dignitaries coming through the capital city of a war-torn country, there’s going to be contracted security. And those security contractors do not typically feel any need to make nice with the locals. Instead, to keep the locals at a safe distance — safe for the dignitaries, that is — from the officials they guard, the contractors use fear, intimidation and, on occasion, violence. Already we’re seeing Xe affiliates firing on unarmed civiliansfor the crime of driving too closing to them while the contractors had been drinking. More security contractors in Kabul raises the awful prospect of another Nisour Square.
Relatedly, in a few weeks, the State Department’s security contract, known as the Worldwide Personal Protective Services deal, gets re-awarded. I’ll be paying close attention to whether State looks to switch over contractors from the Xe-DynCorp-Triple Canopy triad it currently employs.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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