In 2016, a New Yorker reporter noted that contractors outnumbered U.S. troops three to one in Afghanistan. Part of the reason for this was that moving around on the ground was so dangerous in Afghanistan that our government basically paid local people to risk their lives, for example, by driving trucks and transporting materials for the U.S. military.
“The jobs were dangerous—more contractors had been killed so far that year than U.S. soldiers—but the payoff was substantial,” The New Yorker stated. “Between 2007 and 2014, the U.S. spent eighty-nine billion dollars on contracting in Afghanistan.”
But in an impoverished war zone, U.S. military contracts have inevitably led to large-scale corruption, and as several lawsuits now allege, the result has often been that our country has indirectly funded its own enemies.
Trucking contractors in Afghanistan, for example, were described in a House Committee report as fueling “a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others,” adding that “protection payments for safe passage [were] a significant potential source of funding for the Taliban.” ...