by David Phinney
Saturday August 24th 2019

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Unknown Number of Federal Civilian Workers

For many years, there was no accurate estimate on the number of contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan until The Los Angeles Times came up with a headcount that contractors now outnumber the miliary.
Apparently, no official count has been made for federal civilian employees either. The Washington Post reports that the Defense Department has sent about 6,000 civil service employees to Iraq since 2001 and the Treasury Department has assigned 75 to Iraq since 2003. Otherwise, “there is no tally of how many federal employees have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and the deployments vary by agency.”
Reporter Stephen Barr continues:

Federal employees are generally not ordered into war zones — though some, because of their occupation, can be assigned to hardship posts and left with no choice but to accept or resign. For Iraq and Afghanistan, agencies have relied on qualified employees who are willing to volunteer.

The money can be good: Up to $212,100 this year in base pay and differentials. Employees also are provided with trips home and rest breaks in the region.
One problem: The pool of qualified Foreign Service officers may be shrinking because of projected retirements. Mark S. Ward, senior deputy assistant administrator for USAID’s bureau for Asia and the Near East, said more than 30 percent of USAID’s Foreign Service officers are eligible to retire this year, and 46 percent will be eligible by 2011.
The story begins by recognizing the death of Steven Thomas Stefani, a U.S. Forest Service employee on assignment in Afghanistan, killed by a roadside bomb near Ghazni on Oct. 4 while serving as an agricultural adviser to a provincial reconstruction team.

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One Response to “Unknown Number of Federal Civilian Workers”

  1. Devidas says:

    Rumsfield did what he was suppose to do, but it will be a long time — if ever — bferoe to many give him credit. Most people do not have faintest idea of how difficult it is to fight a war. What is worst is that they think the fight is optional.

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