More than 3,000 contractors remained in Iraq last year. A DOD contractor census shows that 39,609 contractors are still in Afghanistan alongside 10,000 troops.
“Those numbers are way too low,” said Chip Hauss, government liaison for the Alliance for Peacebuilding, who also is a professor at George Mason University and Oberlin College graduate. He agrees the true numbers are hidden by the “black budget.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told us the best way to fight al-Qaida and ISIS, given Americans’ reticence about using our troops, is “by mercenaries,” and it seems we are now doing so.
According to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, private military contractors were used “without any supervision.” Although the Department of Defense has taken steps to better regulate private military contractors, oversight is still lacking. The Library of Congress reported in 2013 that “lack of data makes it difficult to determine to what extent the billions of dollars spent [on contractors] … have contributed to achieving the mission.”