The mandate of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is to provide the Congress with objective analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions. The documents that CBO publishes fall into two main categories: (1) cost estimates for legislation and (2) analyses of economic, budgetary, and policy issues. In its analyses, the CBO has studied the use of contractors to support U.S. activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Note that in accordance with the CBO's mandate to provide objective and impartial analysis, CBO's reports contain no policy recommendations.
From 2002-2005, more than $15 billion of logistics support (including such services as base-camp construction, food, fuel, housing, and supplies) was provided to the Army in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in Southwest Asia under contract. This CBO study evaluates alternative mixes of military personnel, federal civilians, and contractors that could support the Armys deployed combat forces. Four options that would vary the mix among the three labor categories are analyzed on the basis of their cost, flexibility, and legal considerations.
This CBO paper examines the use of contractors in the Iraq theater from 2003 - 2007. It provides an overview of the federal governments costs of employing contractors in Iraq and in nearby countries, the type of products and services they provide, the number of personnel working on those contracts, comparisons of past and present use of contractors during U.S. military operations, and the use of contractors to provide security. The report also examines the command-and-control structure between the U.S. government and contract employees and the legal issues surrounding contractor personnel working in Iraq.