The Pentagon in fiscal year 2014 obligated $6.1 billion on contracts in Afghanistan, the lowest amount since FY-07, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.
The number of contractors in the country has also dropped precipitously, from a high of 117,000 in March 2012 to just shy of 40,000 in December.
While the report, dated July 22, notes that contractors have averaged 50 percent or more of the DOD force in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, contractors are now playing an even greater role in Afghanistan.
As of December, there were about 10,600 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, making contract personnel nearly 80 percent of the total DOD presence.
Of the roughly 40,000 contractor personnel, the report adds, about 1,500 were private security contractors. That number also is far lower than in the past. It peaked in June 2012 with nearly 29,000 private security contractors.
The report notes that contract obligations in Afghanistan — in FY-15 dollars — totaled $88.8 billion from FY-07 to FY-14. The Pentagon spent the most in FY-12, obligating nearly $19 billion (also in FY-15 adjusted dollars). — Marjorie Censer
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