Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected Monday to order all private security companies in the country to shut down in four months.

Government spokesman Waheed Omar said a presidential decree was expected later in the day. It was to detail the process for the shutdown of the companies, he said.

"Within four months, all private security companies will be disbanded," Omar told reporters in Kabul, without going into detail.

Karzai has said that private security firms undermine government forces by essentially creating a parallel security system. In his November 2009 inauguration speech, Karzai said he wanted to close down foreign and Afghan security contractors within two years.

Contractors in the country perform a wide variety of jobs — from guarding supply convoys and military bases, to personal security details.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said 52 firms are licensed in the country, but the U.S. military said some older contracts are being performed by unlicensed companies.

With files from The Associated Press