[Ed. – Not sure why we’re making so much noise about this. The contractors are the glue that holds the Afghan security forces together. They’re already being driven back badly by the Taliban in parts of Afghanistan. Making this announcement clarifies that it’s open season on the Afghans, especially in the hinterlands. It isn’t necessary to message so poorly and treat the Afghans this way.]
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday the process of removing all contractors from Afghanistan working with the United States was under way as part of President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of forces from the country.
The remarks are the clearest indication yet that Biden’s April order to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 extended to U.S.-funded contractors.
Asked whether the Pentagon had issued orders to withdraw not just American troops but also contractors, Austin said: “We’re going to responsibly retrograde all of our capabilities that we are responsible for and the contractors fall in that realm as well.” …
As of April, there were nearly 17,000 Pentagon contractors, including about 6,150 Americans, 4,300 Afghans and 6,400 from other countries.