The Department of Defense employed more than 25,000 private contractors in Afghanistan at the end of 2016, more than twice the number of U.S. troops. U.S. armed forces figures include all active and reserve personnel.
Source: Heidi M. Peters et al., “Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007–2017,” Congressional Research Service, April 28, 2017, https://tinyurl.com/lch975o
Data for the graphic are as follows:
|Quarter||Fiscal Year||Number of U.S. Armed Forces||Number of Private Contractors|
|Q1||2017||Not Yet Available||26,022|