Troop levels are down, but US says over 18,000 contractors remain in Afghanistan

https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/troop-levels-are-down-but-us-says-over-18-000-contractors-remain-in-afghanistan-1.659040

 

 

Troop levels are down, but US says over 18,000 contractors remain in Afghanistan

Civilian contractors prepare to load a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle on to a flatbed trailer at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, July 12, 2020. The U.S. has more than 18,000 contractors in Afghanistan and about 2,500 troops, an Army report said this week.

By J.P. LAWRENCE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 19, 2021

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Pentagon employs more than seven contractors for every service member in Afghanistan, figures from U.S. Central Command show.

More than 18,000 contractors remain in Afghanistan, a Defense Department report released this week said, after the Pentagon announced Friday it had reduced its troop total in the country to 2,500.

The contractor population decreased by about 4,300 from last October, down about 20%. The drawdown of U.S. troops over the last year “drove reductions in requirements for contracted support,” the report said.

About one service member deployed for each contractor a decade ago, at the height of the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.