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Contractor Fatalities on the Rise in Afghanistan

A new report issued by the Congressional Research Service offers stark news for contractors supporting the United States’ military efforts on the ground in Afghanistan.

289 contractors have been killed since the military operation commenced eight years ago.  100 of those fatalities have occurred over the last six months.

According to ProPublica, this is due to a sharp uptick in the number of contractors heading to the nation in response to the Obama troop surge.

“The latest U.S. Department of Defense numbers show there are actually more civilian contractors on the ground in Afghanistan than there are soldiers,” reported ProPublica. “The Pentagon reported [2] 107,292 U.S.-hired civilian workers in Afghanistan as of February 2010, when there were about 78,000 soldiers. This is apparently the first time that contractors have exceeded soldiers by such a large margin.”

A major concern is that, unlike military fatalities, civilian deaths are often invisible to public consciousness, camouflaging the toll the conflict is requiring of America’s efforts.

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