They have made these claims that they’re
going to withdraw American troops over time. And you really need to look at what the United States has done when faced with troop limits in this war and in other wars, is that they’ve often resorted to contractors to take up some of those roles that would otherwise be carried out by the U.S. military. One of the things that I’ve been looking
at in recent years is the outsourcing of contracting, the outsourcing of airstrikes when it comes to contracting, the outsourcing of intelligence, things that allow the United States to continue the war while reducing its overt troop levels and sustaining that war with a sort of invisible army. And so, while there are about 12,000 U.S.
troops in Afghanistan right now, there are also 26,000 contractors. So there’s a really big gap here that people need to watch. So, what happens to those contractors? It’s unclear. This deal doesn’t address that. It just addresses — So, say the number of troops again. There are 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. And contractors? Twenty-six thousand. More than double. Yes. Yes, there are more than that. And not only that, there are — 10,000 of
those are Americans. Some are third-country nationals. Some are Afghan locals. But those are just the ones that are in country, that 26,000. There are many other contractors sitting in U.S. bases here, as well as in other bases across the world, who are involved in this
war from abroad. I don’t mean to sound cynical, but could
this mean simply a 100% mercenary army left in Afghanistan? It’s unclear if they’ll necessarily be
on the ground in the ways that they were, that these sort of mercenaries, these contractors functioned in the past. What I think is more likely is that you’re
likely to see the continued use of air power and contractors facilitating that. They’re already doing that right now. There are screeners on U.S. bases. And these are contractors who are doing this work, who are watching drone footage to basically give the calls for airstrikes. So, this is happening right now. And as troop levels decrease, you’re going
to see a shift towards expanding that. So, in many ways, there are probably defense contractors who are salivating at the prospects for this right now.