Study: Hundreds of Contractor Deaths in Afghanistan Unreported

Congress Finds Private Contractors Dying at Enormous Rate

A recent report by the US Congress has found that private security contractors in Afghanistan are dying at 4.5 times the rate that US soldiers are in the nation. The report also found that the contractors’ deaths go virtually unreported internationally.

While most of the contractors are said to have been killed guarding convoys, though the exact details are largely unknown, and the deaths are scarcely investigated.

The number of security contractors has also risen precipitously, from 2,401 in September 2007 to 3,184 in December 2008. Since President Obama took office the number as increased more than fourfold, with 13,214 contractors now operating under the Department of Defense.

Despite the fact that there are nearly 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan, the death toll from the much smaller pool of contractors is actually not far from the same. 260 were killed from June 2009 through April 2010. There is no reliable data available since then.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.