- By Josh Rogin
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.
The State Department is ending the contract for ArmorGroup, the protective services firm whose employees in Afghanistan were caught in a sexually tinged hazing and misconduct scandal earlier this year.
Several Armorgroup employees guarding the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul were fired in September after photos of guards performing "deviant sexual acts" as part of an apparent hazing ritual were revealed by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog group.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told The Cable that the State Department has informed ArmorGroup that the company will not be awarded the next year-long option on its contract when the current option expires in June. ArmorGroup will receive a six-month extension to allow State to compete for a replacement.
"A senior-level review of the recent misconduct allegations against AGNA [ArmorGroup] personnel, combined with AGNA’s history of contract compliance deficiencies, have led the Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and Embassy Kabul to conclude that it is in the best interests of the government to compete a new contract," said Toner.
POGO was originally alerted to the hazing incident by 30 separate whistleblowers. Since breaking the news, the organization has been all over the case, sending a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, protesting retaliation against one of the whistleblowers, and testifying before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, an independent commission established by Congress that has called State Department officials to answer for the scandal.
POGO’s Executive Director Danielle Brian offered guarded praise of the State Department’s decision to eventually end the contract.
"The State Department seems to be holding this embassy security contractor accountable," she told The Cable. "But State will need a real culture change before it can provide adequate oversight of these complex and challenging contracts."
Armorgroup sent an email to its employees Monday informing them of the decision. The Cable has obtained a copy.
"Changing out contractors is primarily a political decision based on the unfortunate and embarrassing events that occurred here several months ago," wrote Frank Schaddelee, deputy project manager at Camp Sullivan in Kabul, where the abuses took place. "There are serious consequences when things like that happen."