Steven Aftergood , Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News blog, September 1, 2009
"There are more Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan today than there are uniformed U.S. military personnel, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service. Not only that, the ratio of contractors to troops in Afghanistan is higher than in any prior military engagement in U.S. history.
"'As of March 2009, there were 68,197 DOD contractors in Afghanistan, compared to 52,300 uniformed personnel. Contractors made up 57% of DOD’s workforce in Afghanistan. This apparently represented the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by DOD in any conflict in the history of the United States,' the CRS report said. A copy of the report was obtained by Secrecy News."
Read the full CRS report, "Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis."
Richard Lardner, Associated Press, September 1, 2009
"[ArmorGroup] guards hired by the State Department to protect diplomats and staff at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan live and work in a 'Lord of the Flies' environment in which they are subjected to hazing and other inappropriate behavior by supervisors, a government oversight group charged Tuesday.
"One e-mail from a guard describes lurid conditions at Camp Sullivan, the guards' quarters a few miles from the embassy. The message described scenes of abuse including guards and supervisors urinating on people and 'threats and intimidation from those leaders participating in this activity.'
"Photographs show guards and supervisors in various stages of nudity at parties that took place near the housing of other supervisors. Multiple guards say these conditions have created a 'climate of fear and coercion.' Those who refuse to participate are often ridiculed, humiliated or even fired, they contended."