POLITICS
11/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Iraqi Army Headcount Still Unclear Despite Millions Paid to Private Contractor

On any given day in Iraq, about 140,000 Iraqi soldiers are on duty. But some 1,000 are in jail, 2,000 are in the hospital or recuperating from injuries, and around 1,000 are absent without leave -- though all are counted as part of the standing Iraqi army that is supposed to one day replace U.S. soldiers on the battlefield.

Nobody, in fact, is exactly sure how many Iraqis are actually on duty -- partly due to problems with a government contract designed to count the soldiers, according to a recent audit.

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