US military bases in Afghanistan are being guarded by Afghan contractors will little oversight, with some of the private security forces linked to the Taliban, warlords or criminal gangs, according to a report issued Thursday by a Senate committee, dpa reported.
Staff investigators from the Senate Armed Services Committee produced the report, which found that the lax oversight has cost American lives and contributed to instability in Afghanistan, even as the US is fighting Taliban insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists and trying to bolster the Afghan government.
Western security contracting firms have sub-contracted the jobs to Afghan groups, many of which have dubious links. The US military has lacked oversight of the contractors.
The report documented cases of Afghan groups involving in guarding bases with links to the Taliban, local warlords and others who "have been involved in activities at odds with US interests in the region," The New York Times reported.
The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously adopted the report.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a written reply to the report, said: "Through the new programmes we have implemented, I believe (the Defence Department) has taken significant steps to benefit our forces on the ground while not providing aid to our enemies."