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.
Guardian - IraqImage: Guardian

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.

Meanwhile, Iraq is celebrating the anniversary by launching a wave of deadly explosions that left 56 dead and 200 injured, according to the Guardian, as the country’s civil war pitting Sunni against Shia intensifies.

A decade ago, America staged the "shock and awe" extravaganza-bombing of Baghdad. It made for captivating TV and perfect PR.

The real shock and awe goes on daily in the streets of Baghdad, leaving one to wonder once again what America was doing in Iraq in the first place.

Saddam is gone, but the killing and misery continues.