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Study: More Contractors In Afghanistan Than Military Personnel -- Highest Ratio Ever

Newscom / ge3

At a time when President Obama is increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan to at least 68,000 and the debate over the war is heating up, the reliance on contractors has been given little attention.

In today's much-discussed column calling for a drawdown of troops, George Will doesn't even mention contractors.

The contractors in Afghanistan perform many duties that would have once been done by the military: "logistics, construction, linguist services, and transportation," the study reports. In the second quarter of FY'09, 16% of contractors in Afghanistan provide security, versus 10% in Iraq.

And 76% of the contractors in Afghanistan are "local nationals," which the study examines in terms of the military's counterinsurgency strategy.