CRS: Nearly 30,000 DOD contractors in Afghanistan

By Marjorie Censer / August 23, 2016 at 11:01 AM

There were about 28,600 Pentagon contractor personnel in Afghanistan in March, far more than the 8,730 U.S. troops in the country, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.

The document, dated Aug. 15 and originally obtained by Secrecy News, notes that about 77 percent of the total Defense Department presence in the country was contractor personnel. About 3 percent of the contractor personnel were private security contractors.

The number of contractors in Afghanistan remains far lower than in previous years, the report's data shows. In fiscal year 2012, for instance, the number was as high as 117,200.

In Iraq, as of last month, there were 2,500 Pentagon contractor personnel, compared to 4,087 U.S. troops, the report notes. Contractor personnel make up about 38 percent of DOD's presence in the country.