Senate Report Links Afghan Security Contractors to Taliban

A new U.S. Senate inquiry has found U.S. funds paid to private security contractors in Afghanistan have been ending up in the hands of the Taliban.The report from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, issued Thursday, also said Afghan employees were often hired by these private firms without being properly vetted.The Chairman of the Committee, Democrat Carl Levin, said the reliance on private security contractors in Afghanistan has empowered warlords, putting U.S. troops at risk.In one example, the report says a firm called ArmorGroup, hired to provide security at a U.S. airbase, had relied on two warlords to recruit security guards, including one linked to the Taliban.Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued a letter saying he recognizes the problems and has created new task forces to overhaul the contract process.According to the report, there are more than 26,000 private security personnel working in Afghanistan — 90 percent of them under U.S. government contracts or subcontracts.This is not the first time Afghan contractors have been accused of links with militants. In June, a separate congressional inquiry into a trucking contractor found that tens of millions of dollar – Voanews