29,000 contractors versus 9,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan
BY KEN HANLY
August 18, 2016
Kabul - Data compiled by the Congressional Research Service shows that private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan by more than a three to one margin.
A detailed 12-page report called "Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007-2016" can be found at the Congressional Research Service website.
During the 2007-2016 period, the U.S. Defense Department spent more than $220 billion on contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan for a large variety of services and support.
Even as early as the middle of 2011, when there were still many U.S. troops in Afghanistan, they were outnumbered by private contractors. The number of private contractors peaked in 2012 at more than 117,000 while there were around 88,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Almost 23 percent of contractors worked as supplementary security personnel. A whopping 70 percent were actually foreign nationals that received money from U.S. companies and agencies.
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