American troops may be leaving Iraq before the end of the year, but U.S. contractors aren’t going anywhere soon.
ABC News reports that the State Department “is expected to have about 5,000 security contractors in Iraq as of January 2012 (they already have about 3,000 in country).” There will also be 4,500 “general life support” contractors to provide food and medical services.
Still, there’ll be a pretty big reduction in the contracting fleet. The Defense Department currently has 9,500 security contractors in Iraq in addition to several thousand general life contractors, said ABC News. At one point, in June 2009, the DOD had 15,200 security contractors in the country.
The State Department’s track record on controlling its contractors isn’t so great, as Spencer Ackerman reports: