If the Times story is accurate, this "replacement strategy" is a likely measure to increase U.S. combat power in the country which has seen a rising level of violence since Obama took office. The U.S. has launched military offensives repeatedly in Obama's escalation of the war in that war-torn nation. The war has also been expanded into neighboring Pakistan with frequent missile strikes. Shortly after taking office, Obama announced that he would send an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total of U.S. troops to about 68,000 by the end of 2009. This force level does not include the thousands of additional NATO forces under McChrystal's command or the various Afghan puppet forces of the Karzai government.
According to the Times, "many of the noncombat jobs are likely to be filled by private contractors, who have proved to be a source of controversy in Iraq and a growing issue in Afghanistan." (In another related report it was recently reported that private contractors paid to guard the U.S. embassy in Kabul have engaged in "lewd conduct" and are undermining "morale" of embassy guards and others. See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/09/01/national/w090119D39.DTL)