As the date for the Obama administration's scheduled end of the war in Afghanistan draws near, the U.S. government is arranging security for U.S. personnel who will remain in the country. One agency, the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), recently awarded a $30 million bridge contract for up to twenty-four months for security at the INL's facility in a strip mall in Kabul.
The contract was personally approved by State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy. The estimated value of the contract ($30,362,699.27) and its approval by Under Secretary Kennedy were meant to be redacted in the documents posted online.
According to the documents, the facility at the mall is "used to support Embassy foreign assistance programs and Third party Contract subject matter experts."
Security for the facility is presently provided by DynCorp International and Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE), but the current task orders under the CIVPOL (Civilian Police) base contract are expiring on December 31, 2014 and cannot be extended. Since a new WPS (Worldwide Protective Services) contract is not expected to be awarded until December 2015 at the earliest, Patrick Kennedy authorized the awarding of this sole source contract to secure the uninterrupted services of DynCorp and PAE in the interim.
The documents also explain that in "Afghanistan’s post-2014 security and political environment, there is a need for ongoing static security at the INL Strip Mall." The list of requirements are extensive and intense in nature:
[T]o provide security, including through the use of the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), to include but not limited to a qualified, fully-trained security force to physically protect designated personnel, property, and facilities from criminal, insurgent, or terrorist attacks in a manner that complies with Afghan law. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to providing Intelligence/Tactical Operations Center (TOC) functions, security assessments, qualified security personnel, security details for those facilities or personnel exempt from the services of the APPF, facility security (gates, towers, roving patrols, etc.), security transport (when necessary, such as to and from Kabul International Airport) for designated personnel (security detail or APPF support) and other related security functions (assessments, explosive ordnance detection, etc.) in direct support of the personnel and property at Camps Gibson and Falcon.
An email to the State Department requesting the reason for the redaction noted above has so far gone unanswered for more than several days, after an initial reply indicated that a statement would be forthcoming.