Updated 5:48 p.m. ET
The State Department will not renew the contract of the private security firm that guards the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, follows allegations of sexual misconduct by the company’s guards and potential weapons shortages at the embassy.
A senior State Department official confirmed the contract that ArmorGroup North America’s contract would not be renewed for a fourth year when the agreement expires in June. The official said the contract might be extended for a few months during competitive bidding for another firm, but did not know for what length of time.
News of the contract’s termination first came from the Project on Government Oversight, which obtained an e-mail that was sent on Tuesday by an ArmorGroup manager to company employees stationed at Camp Sullivan in Kabul.
“What this means to the vast majority of personnel here is that you will have right of first refusal, which means for most of you this change from one contractor to another will be mostly transparent — you will continue your employment but change uniforms,” wrote Frank Schaddelee, ArmorGroup’s deputy project manager at Camp Sullivan.
“I have been told that the current force on the ground here is doing a great job — the RSO [Regional Security Officer] here has personally told me this on several occasions,” Schaddellee wrote. “But…changing out contractors is primarily a political decision based on the unfortunate and embarrassing events that occurred here several months ago; there are serious consequences when things like that happen.”