Source: Marine Times
The number of civilian contractors supporting U.S. and coalition operations in Iraq against the Islamic State is on the rise, even as major military operations there have ceased, according to new figures released by U.S. Central Command,
From January 2017 to January 2018 the number of Defense Department contractors in Iraq rose 37 percent, from 3,592 to 4,927, according to statistics CENTCOM released last week.
The numbers are reported quarterly and have risen steadily over the last year. For example, contractors supporting base operations rose from 564 contractors in January 2017 to 827 contractors in January 2018. The number of contracted translators rose from 377 in 2017 to 805 in 2018 and the number of contractors supporting logistics and maintenance rose from 1,156 to 1,480.
The Pentagon will still not say how many forces are in Iraq or whether that number has risen or fallen since ISIS was driven from all major Iraqi cities last year. The Pentagon will only provide the previous publicly released figure of a force management level of 5,262.