Who Won in Afghanistan? Private Contractors
The U.S. military spent $14 trillion during two decades of war; those who benefited range from major manufacturers to entrepreneurs
Four months after the last American troops left Afghanistan, the U.S. is assessing the lessons to be learned. Among those, some officials and watchdog groups say, is the reliance on battlefield contractors and how that adds to the costs of waging war.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, military outsourcing helped push up Pentagon spending to $14 trillion, creating opportunities for profit as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq stretched on.
One-third to half of that sum went to contractors, with five defense companies— Lockheed Martin Corp. , Boeing Co. , General Dynamics Corp. , Raytheon Technologies Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. —taking the lion’s share, $2.1 trillion, for weapons, supplies and other services, according to Brown University’s Costs of War Project, a group of scholars, legal experts and others that aims to draw attention to what it calls the hidden impact of America’s military.