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Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan Background and Analysis by CRS

Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan Background and Analysis by CRS

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Published by: tpmdocs on Dec 02, 2009
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05/21/2012

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CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraqand Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
Moshe Schwartz
Specialist in Defense AcquisitionSeptember 21, 2009
Congressional Research Service
7-5700www.crs.govR40764
 
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and AnalysisCongressional Research Service
Summary
The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations inIraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce in those countries comprisingapproximately an equal number of contractors (194,000) as uniformed personnel (190,000). Thecritical role contractors play in supporting such military operations and the billions of dollarsspent by DOD on these services requires operational forces to effectively manage contractorsduring contingency operations. Lack of sufficient contract management can delay or even preventtroops from receiving needed support and can also result in wasteful spending. Some analystsbelieve that poor contract management has also played a role in abuses and crimes committed bycertain contractors against local nationals, which may have undermined U.S. counterinsurgencyefforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.DOD officials have stated that the military’s experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled withCongressional attention and legislation, has focused DOD’s attention on the importance of contractors to operational success. DOD has taken steps to improve how it manages and overseescontractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. These steps include tracking contracting data, implementingcontracting training for uniformed personnel, increasing the size of the acquisition workforce inIraq and Afghanistan, and updating DOD doctrine to incorporate the role of contractors.However, these efforts are still in progress and could take three years or more to effectivelyimplement.The use of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has raised a number of issues for Congress,including (1) whether DOD is gathering and analyzing the right data on the use of contractors, (2)what steps DOD is taking to improve contract management and oversight, and (3) the extent towhich contractors are included in military doctrine and strategy. This report examines currentcontractor trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, steps DOD has taken to improve contractor oversightand management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of contractors into itsdoctrine and strategy. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over DODcontracting, including contracting issues that have been the focus of hearings and legislation.
 
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and AnalysisCongressional Research Service
Contents
Background................................................................................................................................1
 
Managing Contractors during Contingency Contracting..............................................................3
 
Number and Roles of Contractors in the Central Command Region.............................................4
 
Contractors in CENTCOM....................................................................................................5
 
Contractors in Iraq................................................................................................................6
 
Number of Contractors....................................................................................................6
 
Type of Work Performed by Contractors..........................................................................7
 
Profile of Contractors......................................................................................................8
 
Contractors in Afghanistan....................................................................................................9
 
Number of Contractors....................................................................................................9
 
Type of Work Performed by Contractors........................................................................10
 
Profile of Contractors....................................................................................................11
 
Efforts to Improve Contractor Management and Oversight........................................................12
 
Contractors in DOD Strategy and Doctrines..............................................................................14
 
Can Contractors Undermine U.S. Efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan?......................................14
 
DOD Strategy and Doctrine................................................................................................15
 
The National Defense Strategy and Quadrennial Defense Review..................................16
 
Field Manual on Operations..........................................................................................17
 
Field Manual on Counterinsurgency..............................................................................17
 
New Doctrine, DOD Instructions, and Other Efforts......................................................18
 
Selected Congressional Hearings and Legislation......................................................................19
 
Private Security Contractors and Interrogators.....................................................................19
 
Contract Management, Oversight, and Coordination............................................................20
 
Training Contractors and the Military in Contingency Contracting......................................20
 
Figures
Figure 1. Contractors as Percentage of Workforce in Recent Operations......................................2
 
Figure 2. DOD Contractors in Iraq vs. Troop Levels....................................................................7
 
Figure 3. Iraq DOD Contractor Personnel by Type of Service Provided.......................................8
 
Figure 4. Breakdown of DOD Contractor Workforce in Iraq........................................................9
 
Figure 5. DOD Contractors in Afghanistan vs. Troop Levels.....................................................10
 
Figure 6. Breakdown of DOD Contractor Workforce in Afghanistan..........................................12
 
Figure A-1. Trend Analysis of Contractor Support by Type of Service Provided in Iraq..............22
 
Tables
Table 1. Comparison of Contractor Personnel to Troop Levels.....................................................5
 
Table 2. DOD Contractor Personnel in Iraq.................................................................................8
 
Table 3. DOD Contractor Personnel in Afghanistan...................................................................11
 

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