By: United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
The Inquiry into the Role and Oversight of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan, which reported in September 2010, was precipitated by events in August 2008, when US forces bombed the Afghan village of Azizabad. This gave rise to a public dispute between the US Government and the United Nations about the level of fatalities caused by the attack and about whether those killed had been civilians or Taliban-linked insurgents. Allegations soon emerged that the attack had been based on false information deliberately fed to the US military by Afghan employees of ArmorGroup, a private security contractor, and that these employees were engaged in murder and anti-coalition activities. A key local contact of ArmorGroup, who they dubbed "Mr Pink", was subsequently convicted of espionage and sentenced to death, but was later freed.
According to the committee's chair, Carl Levin, the investigation "uncovered a significant amount of evidence that a number of security contractors working under Department of Defense contracts and subcontracts funneled US taxpayer dollars to Afghan warlords and strongmen linked to murder, kidnapping and bribery, as well as to Taliban and anti-coalition activities".