Defense Contracting in Afghanistan at Record High

There are more Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan today than there are uniformed U.S. military personnel, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.  Not only that, the ratio of contractors to troops in Afghanistan is higher than in any prior military engagement in U.S. history.

“As of March 2009, there were 68,197 DOD contractors in Afghanistan, compared to 52,300 uniformed personnel. Contractors made up 57% of DOD’s workforce in Afghanistan. This apparently represented the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by DOD in any conflict in the history of the United States,” the CRS report (pdf) said.  A copy of the report was obtained by Secrecy News.

At a time when the deployment of U.S. forces in Afghanistan may be increased (or reduced), the CRS report casts a detailed and fairly nuanced spotlight on the role of defense contractors there.  The report notes, for example, that more than 75% of the DoD contractor personnel in Afghanistan are local nationals.  Only about 15% are U.S. citizens.

Contractors provide essential logistical, translation and other services, while offering increased flexibility.  But they also pose management challenges in monitoring performance and preventing fraud.  In the worst cases, “abuses and crimes committed by armed private security contractors and interrogators against local nationals may have undermined U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the CRS report noted.  See “Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis,” August 13, 2009.

No Responses to “Defense Contracting in Afghanistan at Record High”

  1. Aaron M. Norcia September 28, 2009 at 11:17 PM #

    Stop the barbaric uses of our tax dollars.

    http://www.change.org/actions/view/demand_congress_stop_funding_private_armies_in_the_middle_east

  2. Joshua Smith February 23, 2010 at 4:34 PM #

    You dont even know what the hell your talking about, once you have been in the middle east, then maybe you can comment on the situation. I’m am tired of you average Americans that sit at home while the war is going on and complain about shit you dont even understand. stop listing to CNN, if you have been to Iraq/ Afghanistan, you would know the news is bullshit. There is a lot more stupid things that our taxes pay for, rather than the fight in Afghanistan.

  3. TCM July 28, 2010 at 4:13 PM #

    I agree with you Joshua, been to Iraq and now ready to go to Afghanistan, and you’re right, most dumb asses like Aaron don’t have a flippin clue except to jump on the liberal band wagon. The things I saw while in Iraq isn’t even shown on CNN because they worship their Messiah, Obama and want to make things look gloom there. Aaron, how about you come with me to Afghanistan in a few months? In the mean time, just shut your pie hole up.