As the nation "celebrates" the tenth anniversary of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, a Financial Times analysis reports on the biggest "winners" of the totally unnecessary conflict: military contractors.
U.S. taxpayers shelled out $138B for private security, logistics and reconstruction costs, according to the FT. The Top 10 contractors enjoyed a $72B trough to feed from. Dick "I Would Do It All Over Again" Cheney's KBR and its former Halliburton unit head the list of contractors, hauling in a whopping $39.5B in U.S. business during the past decade.
Kuwaiti companies Agility Logistics ($7.4B) and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. ($6.3B) are second and third on the list. They are followed by ITT (roadside bomb jammer), Dyncorp (private security) Combat Support Assocs. (logistics), International Oil Trading ($2.1B), Triple Canopy (security), Fluor (engineering) and Blackwater (recast as Xe and then Academi).
The Iraq invasion ended the lives of 4,486 American military personnel, plus 179 British soldiers and 139 troopers from other coalition countries. The Iraq gravy train, however, remains on track for the contractors.
The FT reports there are 14,000 contractors in Iraq, including 5,500 security guards, though the last Americans soldiers exited in December 2011. Their economic prospects remain bright as the U.S. State Dept. is committed to spending $3B during the next five years to defend America’s fortress-like embassy in Baghdad.
Thinkman2 (Mar. 25, 2013): Whatever happened to that fellow Eisenhower who warned about something called, I think, the Military-Industrial Complex?
Guess it just got too "complex."
email@example.com (Mar. 21, 2013): If President Eisenhower was still with us, he would probably have added contractors to his military-industrial complex statement.
But why haven't the Democrats spoken out about "America's Hidden Army," the military contractors.
They're part of the U.S. fighting force whether they wear a uniform or not. And as I understand it, they are not subject to military laws no matter how they act.
Bill Huey, Strategic Communications (Mar. 20, 2013): After nearly 5,000 lives and $2 trillion of treasure, do we know yet the difference between a Sunni and a Shia?
Are gas prices lower? Have the lovers of peace come forward to make democracy bloom in the desert?
I am citing, of course, some of the nearly dozen rationales the Bushies put forward for invading Iraq, ranging from phony WMD to Saddam is a bad guy.
The neocons and conservatives are mighty quiet on this 10th anniversary. Too busy guffawing at Sarah Palin's stand-up routine, I suppose.
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Mar. 19, 2013): Not given as much attention in the media is the huge "shoppping spree" by the Saudis for weapons and other armamements to the tune of nearly $60 BILLION in just 2010-12 from US suppliers.
When one considers that most of defending of the Saudis has been done by America in two Gulf Wars and other engagements, why is there no question as to where those billions of dollars war stuff goes after the Saudis get it? Where are the media? Where are the politicians who scream about deficits but seem to have cared little about precious American and other NATO lives?
And mostly, where are the media who claim to crusade for truth and justice, or , in the case of boastful FOX, where is anything resembling inquiry of any kind?
Anonymous (Mar. 19, 2013): As service providers we all know that it vital to bill clients for time, materials, travel and any other related costs. How come, then, when America dispatches hundreds of thousands of men and women, provides tons of materials and other stuff all on unlimited hours, days or year for that matter, we send no bills for services rendered? Certainly we get no 'thank you' notes from our 'clients' whose interests often are not even arguably our own and which clients seem disinterested in defending their own. Somewhere in all that Iraq early justification, I know I heard a guy named Wolfowicz claim the Iraqis could help pay those bills. So when indeed do w get payback from Iraq?