The CIA has confirmed that a big security contract in Afghanistan has been awarded to a controversial American company formerly known as Blackwater.
Xe Services, as the company is now called, has won a $US100 million deal to protect American consulates.
The BBC reports the contract is for one year initially, but could be extended to 18 months. Xe beat two other contenders.
The CIA says it has come to rely on such companies to provide security.