Throughout its history, the Department of Defense (DOD) has relied on contractors to support a wide range of military operations. Operations over the last thirty years have highlighted the critical role that contractors play in supporting U.S. troops—both in terms of the number of contractors and the type of work being performed.
During recent U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, contractors often accounted for 50% or more of the total DOD presence in-country.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2018, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported 49,451 contractor personnel working for DOD within its area of responsibility, which included 28,189 individuals located in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
From FY2009 to FY2018, obligations for all DOD-funded contracts performed within the Iraq and Afghanistan areas of operation totaled approximately $208 billion in FY2019 dollars.
In late 2017, the DOD stopped reporting the number of U.S. military personnel deployed in support of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria as part of its quarterly manpower reports and in other official releases.
These data remain withheld.
Click here for the full report (21 PDF pages) on the CRS website.