Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Costs of War

The Guards, Cooks, and Cleaners of the Afghan War: Migrant Contractors and the Cost of War

Noah Coburn (2017)
Paper (pdf)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – On Monday, President Trump’s speech on the war in Afghanistan seemed to reveal a U.S. military strategy that will continue to look like more of the same. Even with an increase in military personnel, the U.S. can expect to see a continued reliance on the tens of thousands of security contractors who many war analysts now call America’s invisible soldiers or army. A report released this week by the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs describes, in detail, the exploitation of immigrant contractors working for the U.S. in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, highlighting abysmal labor conditions and other human rights violations.