Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Impunity | Private and Military Contractors in Afghanistan

More civilian contractors working for U.S. companies than U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan last year for the first time during the war.

While mercenaries and contractors have been used in every US war – including the revolutionary war – the number of private contractors used by the military and increasingly by the State department is higher than ever before. Raising questions of ethics and morality.


98,933 – Troops Deployed in and around Afghanistan (December 2011)
113,491 – Department of Defense (DoD) Contractors (Jan. 2012)
20,375 – DoD Private Security – does not include USAID and State (Jan. 2012)

Total – 232,799

Contractor numbers from CENTCOM Quarterly Contractor Census Report (DoD)
Number of US Troops from SIGAR

These figures do not include the estimated 11,000 private security contractors that will report directly to the Government of Afghanistan in March following the implementation of Presidential degree 62.

In December 2009, Afghan President Karzai issued Presidential Decree 62 dissolving private security contractors (PSCs), which provide security for the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. embassy and U.S. government contractors. The U.S. embassy subsequently negotiated an exemption for U.S. government facilities, including the Department of Defense, but failed to include an exemption for USAID development projects or any other U.S. Government contracts performed by U.S. firms in Afghanistan.

Under intense diplomatic pressure, President Karzai approved a “bridging strategy” that extended the use of PSCs to guard foreign-funded development projects to March 20, 2012 while the new APPF was stood up.

These figures also do not account for U.S. Special Forces, the CIA, CIA trained Afghan forces, US armed militias or the Afghan Local Police.

Click troop levels for more posts.

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Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
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