From Le Monde diplomatique:
Afghanistan’s outsourced war
by Marie-Dominique Charlier
A worrying two-thirds of the Pentagon’s personnel in Afghanistan are private military contractors, unaccountable to military law or ethics, swaggeringly overbearing, and not in any hurry to help improve the poor security situation that assures their firms’ current and future profits.
The Central Intelligence Agency hired staff from a private military company called Blackwater in 2004 as part of a secret program to track down and assassinate al-Qaida leaders, according to the New York Times of 19 August 2009. The paper’s sources among current and former US government officials said that Blackwater had helped the CIA with planning, training and surveillance, for which it had charged several million dollars, but the program had failed to capture or assassinate a single al-Qaida figure.