PSC: New Security Paradigm in Afghanistan Could Jeopardize USAID Projects

Arlington, Va. March 29, 2012—The Professional Services Council warned Congress today that the mandatory shift from private security contractors to Afghan protective forces could jeopardize USAID reconstruction projects and personnel in Afghanistan.

PSC was asked to submit written testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s National Security Subcommittee for today’s hearing “Are Changes in Security Policy Jeopardizing USAID Reconstruction Projects and Personnel in Afghanistan?”. 

“Exclusive use of the new state-owned enterprise, the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), to guard development projects and personnel imposes a wholly new security paradigm in a volatile, high-risk environment,” said PSC President and CEO Stan Soloway. “Given growing concerns about so-called ‘green on blue’ attacks by uniformed Afghans on U.S. and coalition personnel, the use of new APPF guards complicates both the risk assessment and cost projections when deciding whether, and at what price, development projects can be successfully completed in Afghanistan.”

“The process is new and definitive judgments on APPF effectiveness can only be made over time,” Soloway said. “However, to say, as some USAID officials do, that 75 percent of USAID’s current portfolio in Afghanistan does not require armed security and to suggest that the transition to the APPF will not have a fundamental impact on how USAID, and its for-profit and non-profit partners, do business in Afghanistan, would be misleading.”  

PSC’s testimony is available here.

About PSC: PSC has been the voice of the government professional and technical services industry for 40 years. PSC’s nearly 350 member companies represent small, medium, and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks and @StanSoloway.