Private Insecurity

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Private Insecurity

When a commercial convoy hauling supplies for U.S. and NATO bases came under attack from Taliban insurgents in the western Zhari district of Afghanistan, the Afghan private security contractors hired to protect it responded by taking turns firing light machine guns from the hip — for almost three hours.
The barrage of rounds was shot so indiscriminately — U.S. soldiers derisively referred to it as the “spray and pray” method — that they were just as likely to hit innocent civilians, or their own men, as they were the Taliban.
If this kind of undisciplined response were the exception, U.S. and NATO commanders might not be so concerned. But it is such a regular occurrence, they say, that allowing it to continue could undermine the counterinsurgency strategy here, which puts civilian protection above almost all else.

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