More US Contractors in Afghanistan than Troops

Defense Department contractors make up 77 percent of the total US presence in Afghanistan, while contractors in Iraq have rapidly increased as the battle against ISIS continues, according to a new congressional report. The Defense Department, as of March 2016, has 28,600 total contractors in Afghanistan compared to 8,730 troops. The number is a dramatic drop off from a high of 117,227 contractors in Afghanistan in the second quarter of Fiscal 2012, the report states. The total number of contractors has always outnumbered the number of US armed forces in Afghanistan, according to Congressional Research Service statistics. In Iraq, there are about 2,485 contractors compared to 4,087 troops as of July 2016. However the number of contractors has dramatically increased from about 250 in early Fiscal 2015. The new numbers were a part of an Aug. 15 Congressional Research Service report released by the Federation of American Scientists and first reported by Politico. The hefty presence has come at a cost, with the Defense Department spending about $220 billion on contractors between Fiscal 2007 and 2015.