- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
GOP lawmakers say troop cap in Afghanistan invites attacks
Mr. Hunter, who received a private Pentagon briefing last week on efforts to defeat improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, said that effort also relies too much on contractors.
“One of the reasons they have to have so many contractors in theater is because of that troop cap,” Mr. Hunter said. “When you have [the Defense Department] talking about we have to cut down on the number of contractors, it’s a self-imposed headache because of the president’s troop cap in Afghanistan.
“Say you get some extra Predators [unmanned aerial vehicles]. But what is really one of the most important things is being able to analyze all the video coming down to you,” he added. “If you don’t have people to analyze it and watch it and people who know what they’re looking at, then you might as well be watching Sports Center.”
The Pentagon has been reluctant to disclose what roles contractors are performing in Afghanistan, according to a July 2 report by the Congressional Research Service. At that time, the Pentagon had more contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan (207,600), the report said, than troops (175,000).
By December 2008, with the Afghanistan war 7 years old, contractors accounted for 69 percent of all Defense Department employees, which the Congressional Research Service called “the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by DOD in any conflict in the history of the United States.”
The report said the Pentagon has not provided a breakdown of contractors’ duties in the country, except for security personnel data. “DOD officials have stated in the past that they will start providing data on the breakdown of services in Afghanistan in the next quarterly census,” said the Congressional Research Service. “However, to date, they have not done so.”
Mr. Kline said the White House should breach the cap by a few thousand troops if it means better security for forward operating bases.
“Look, we shouldn’t be fooling around with this,” he said. “If we need these troops to provide the protection of our forces over there, we ought to just do it and not be constrained by some number.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Arrest made in Ohio bar shooting that killed 3
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Charges filed against accused 'shadow campaign' financier
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again