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Report CRS DoD Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq
and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
Moshe Schwartz
Specialist in Defense Acquisition
August 13, 2009

Full Contents here

The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in
Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce in those countries comprising
approximately an equal number of contractors (200,000) as uniformed personnel (194,000). The
critical role contractors play in supporting such military operations and the billions of dollars
spent by DOD on these services requires operational forces to effectively manage contractors
during contingency operations. Lack of sufficient contract management can delay or even prevent
troops from receiving needed support and can also result in wasteful spending. Some analysts
believe that poor contract management has also played a role in abuses and crimes committed by
certain contractors against local nationals, which likely has undermined U.S. counterinsurgency
efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
DOD officials have stated that the military’s experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with
Congressional attention and legislation, has focused DOD’s attention on the importance of
contractors to operational success. DOD has taken steps to improve how it manages and oversees
contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. These steps include tracking contracting data, implementing
contracting training for uniformed personnel, increasing the size of the acquisition workforce in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and updating DOD doctrine to incorporate the role of contractors.
However, these efforts are still in progress and could take three years or more to effectively
The use of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has raised a number of issues for Congress,
including 1) whether DOD is gathering and analyzing the right data on the use of contractors, 2)
what steps DOD is taking to improve contract management and oversight, and 3) the extent to
which contractors are included in military doctrine and strategy. This report examines current
contractor trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, steps DOD has taken to improve contractor oversight
and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of contractors into its
doctrine and strategy. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over DOD
contracting, including contracting issues that have been the focus of hearings and legislation.
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
Congressional Research Service

5 Responses to “Report CRS DoD Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan”

  1. […] CRS DoD Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan […]

  2. Aaron Montague said

    I am a US Veteran recently separated from the military. My question is concerning civilian contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been trying to get in contact with a contracting company that operates overseas and I would be gracious if you were to offer some assistance.

  3. anonymousonpurpose said

    Try here:


    Good luck.

    Thank you for your service!

  4. gail weir said

    It sounds like our country does not care one bit about civilian contractors, when it’s obvious they play a vital role in the war and peacekeeping efforts. How does our country
    handle it if a contractor
    is murdered or goes missing?

    • said

      the U.S. will not pay no ransom or nagotiate, and if they recieve intel on the missing person/s, maybe they will rescue,…as said to us
      “In Short YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN “. good luck …… and as for the -companies policy- …is the same but they change the latter part to, …if we get any intel we will turn this over to the appropriate [ ], …and they will anilize the situation,
      ” In Short YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN ” good luck

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