As a follow-up to yesterday's post about Team Canada down in Kandahar, here's a post from the anonymous expat at Kandahar Diary about the dangers of operating in and around Kandahar.
The PSC that he works for is heavily involved in some of the most difficult work in this country, escorting fuel convoys to ISAF bases. Highway One is dodgy pretty much anywhere, but it's especially bad between Kabul and Helmand, and KD's guys make the run from Kandahar west on a daily basis. Not a road I'd want to drive regularly.
The Rug Merchant has accused me in the past of pricing us out of the lucrative logistics market in Kandahar and Helmand, and in a sense he's right. I won't put my people at risk on that road under those circumstances without a guarantee that we're making enough money to cover our expenses, including the inevitable death benefits we'd have to pay. Can't do it on the cheap, better to not do it at all.*
*The single most annoying trait of Afghan businessmen is to over-promise and under-deliver. Afghans, my boss included, will underbid every job just to get the work and then flounder about trying to find a way to make it work. Ultimately, with that approach, people get dead.
That said, we're looking at a couple of large static jobs in Kandahar and Helmand that might deploy later this summer. Static security is considerably more manageable than mobile logistics security, but any operations down south come with considerable risks. All that remains is to convince the potential clients that their security is perhaps not the best place to cut costs.