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Do Security Contractors Harm American Security?
Allegations of extreme misconduct by private sector security personnel under contract to the State Department have been scrutinized by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), an NGO that "that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government."

According to POGO, "the management of the contract to protect the U.S. Embassy Kabul is grossly deficient, posing a significant threat to the security of the Embassy and its personnel-and thereby to the diplomatic mission in Afghanistan." The NGO states that the "lewd and deviant behavior of approximately 30 supervisors and guards has resulted in complete distrust of leadership and a breakdown of the chain of command, compromising security" and that "Numerous emails, photographs, and videos portray a Lord of the Flies environment."

POGO states that "Failed management of security contractors by the Department of State is not new" and asks whether providing security in a combat zone should be considered as an inherently governmental function. The NGO notes that the "use of private contractors for security in a combat zone poses several dilemmas" including "the inherent tension between the effective performance of a mission and the financial interests of the contractor."

Federal use of contractors has long been recognized as appropriate and beneficial when the tasks performed are not inherently governmental; the initial version of OMB Circular A-76 which guides the outsourcing process was first issued by the Bureau of the Budget in 1966. To achieve the benefits of outsourcing, however, it is essential that federal determinations of what domestic and overseas activities are "inherently governmental," be made through an open, transparent and participatory process based on objective criteria.

See POGO letter to State Department

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