Posted by: Joe Eds | December 2, 2009

Another Number


That’s the number of private contractors employed by the Defense Department in Afghanistan. This current number, which will definitely rise with more troops, is greater than the number of total US troops expected to be in Afghanistan next Summer.

Talking Points Memo has the full story, and goes into more details of how that number is broken up, but the fact that this did not get mentioned last night by the President and/or any major news outlet is a bit shocking and completely undersells how big a presence our government has over in that country.  According to TPM, out of that figure above 9,000 are private security contractors, though there is some debate on that.

This story from Army Times illustrates how reckless these private security forces can be, not to mention counter-productive to our goal.



  1. Funny how your lead failed mention that the so-called “reckless” and “counter-productive” security contractors in the Army Times article are Afghani, though by using a reference to the Department of Defense you want to imply they are American, when in fact the article never mentions any US contract.

    Keep working on it and maybe you can learn like most media types to effectively hide your slant.

  2. I did not imply any such thing, though “our goal” would imply the US and Afghanistan’s goal.

    Funny how you side-stepped that the overall point is correct, private security guards (Afghani or US) are reported to be trigger-happy and reckless, and would make our troops’ job more difficult.

  3. I think the key question, in so far as responsibility goes, is who is employing the security contractors. If you pay them to do what they’re doing, then you’re responsible for them, yes? The nationality/ethnicity of the private security forces is neither here nor there.

    The article is vague on this point, but it sounds like they’re being employed by either the US or by one of the other coalition countries. It does seem clear they aren’t being employed by the Afghans. So barring further details, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say their recklessness is on us.

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