[pjw] *INFO: Contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan 3-to-1 (Military Times 8/17)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue Aug 30 15:47:16 EDT 2016

I'm compiling information about the "endless wars" since 9/11 that we can 
put into our fact sheet to hand out at the Sept. 9 rally and march. This 
article strikes me as particularly eye-opening.

    The latest figures available, for the first few months of 2016, show
    nearly 29,000 defense contractors still in Afghanistan, with fewer
    than 9,000 U.S. troops stationed there.

dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

Report: Contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan 3-to-1
    By: Leo Shane III, August 17, 2016 (Photo Credit: Senior Airman
    Cierra Presentado/Air Force)

    Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan still outnumber U.S.
    troops by a 3-to-1 margin according to new research released this
    week, raising questions again about the role those workers play in
    the ongoing wars overseas and the oversight they receive.

    The data, compiled by the Congressional Research Service and first
    reported by Politico, shows contractor numbers in both Iraq and
    Afghanistan dating back to fiscal 2007. Combined, the Defense
    Department spent more than $220 billion on contractors in both war
    zones for a variety of services and support.

    The numbers show that the non-military defense workers have
    outnumbered U.S. troops in Afghanistan continuously since mid-2011,
    even as the numbers of both have drawn down steadily. But the ratio
    between the two groups continues to widen as administration officials
    work to reduce the roles played by armed military personnel in the
    war-torn country.

    In early 2012, the number of defense contractors in Afghanistan
    peaked at more than 117,000 individuals, as compared to around 88,000
    U.S. servicemembers.

    Of those contractors, about 23 percent were working as supplemental
    security personnel, and more than 70 percent were foreign nationals
    receiving money from American companies and agencies.

    The latest figures available, for the first few months of 2016, show
    nearly 29,000 defense contractors still in Afghanistan, with fewer
    than 9,000 U.S. troops stationed there. About two-thirds of the
    contractors were foreign nationals, but only about 10 percent were
    providing security services.

    Defense Department records show the majority of their contractors in
    Afghanistan today (more than 12,00) are providing logistics and
    maintenance services, to both American and Afghan troops. About 1,600
    are working as translators, 1,700 as construction workers, and 2,200
    as base support professionals.

    Lawmakers in recent years have questioned how much oversight and
    scrutiny those contractors receive, especially given concerns from
    watchdog groups about waste and fraud connected to war-zone

    Senators included new contracting oversight rules and reforms in
    their draft of the annual defense authorization bill earlier this
    year, but those provisions don't specifically single out Afghanistan
    contractors as an area of concern.

    The CRS report also notes that earlier this summer, roughly 2,500
    defense contractors were employed in Iraq to assist with the fight
    against Islamic State group militants in the region, along with about
    4,000 U.S. troops.

    The report was made public by the Federation of American Scientists
    this week, and is online at the group's web site.
    Follow @LeoShane
    Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House
    for Military Times. He can be reached at lshane at militarytimes.com.

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