- Lazaro Gamio
- Aug 21
U.S. troops and contractors in Afghanistan by year
President Trump will address the nation regarding his strategy in Afghanistan tonight. Here's how many U.S. troops and contractors were in the country through as of late-2016, and the 8 years prior, according to an April report from the Congressional Research Service.
Data: Congressional Research Service; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
Some takeaways from the report:
- The latest available figures from Q4 of FY2016 show 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, down from about 100,000 in 2011.
- Contractors have frequently made up over half of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan — in Q4 of FY2016, 72 percent of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan consisted of contractors.
- About 3 percent of these contractors were armed private security contractors.