According to a study by the Congressional Research Service, the surge of 30, 000 troops in Afghanistan recently announced by President Obama will mean a likely surge in the number of contractors as well. The contractor surge is expected to include between 20, 000 to 56, 000 more contractors on the ground in Afghanistan according to the memo partially released on Talking Points Memo.
The anticipated surge would bring the total number of contractors up to between 130, 000 and 160, 000. The percentage of contractors as part of the DoD’s overall numbers in Afghanistan is over half. In September 2009, contractors made up 62% of DoD related personnel in Afghanistan and in December 2008 contractors comprised 69% according to the report. Last December’s numbers were the highest in US history of DoD use of contractors.
The report also claims that the number of contractors could increase dramatically if the Obama administration increases its nation building and construction efforts in Afghanistan. In order to keep up with the changing nature of the battlefield, and the increasing role contractors play in it, the DoD is working to update its strategies and military doctrines to include the role of contractors.