Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Costs of War

Wartime Contract Spending in Afghanistan Since 2001

Over the 20-year period of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense paid various companies about $108 billion in contracts for work performed in the country, according to our latest research. This is in addition to the trillions of dollars spent on Department of Defense contracts performed in the U.S. over that period – and does not include other goods and services produced in the U.S. and used in the war in Afghanistan, such as weapons. What’s more, this figure is just a fraction of the over $14 trillion in Pentagon spending since the start of the war in Afghanistan in total, with one-third to one-half of the total going to military contractors.

Over one-third of the contract spending went to “undisclosed” recipients – domestic and foreign businesses who are not uniquely identifiable in the publicly available contracting databases – USASpending.gov and the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).

Of the $108 billion spent in Afghanistan from fiscal years 2002-2022, over 40 percent went to the 14 largest companies, which each received over one billion dollars in total contract spending, with the largest receiving over $13.5 billion. There were also thousands of smaller contracts.