Who's profiting from Iraq war: new report from Center for Public Integrity

Who's profiting from Iraq war: new report from Center for Public Integrity

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Looks like the winners in the war include contractors, particularly Halliburton/KBR. From the CPI report:

KBR, Inc., the global engineering and construction giant, won more than $16 billion in U.S. government contracts for work in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006—far more than any other company… In fact, the total dollar value of contracts that went to KBR—which used to be known as Kellogg, Brown, and Root and until April 2007 was a subsidiary of Halliburton—was nearly nine times greater than those awarded to DynCorp International, a private security firm…

According to David Walker, the comptroller general of the United States, the outsourcing of government has escalated across the board over the past five years, although oversight of the process has shrunk during this same period. In an interview with the Center for Public Integrity, Walker noted particular problems with military contracting. "We have identified about 15 systemic, longstanding acquisition and contracting problems that exist within the Defense Department—which is the single biggest contractor within the U.S. government—that we are still not making enough progress on," said Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office. "I mean, this stuff isn't rocket science."

But not all contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan are reported in this federal data system, including awards originating at one contracting agency in Baghdad, which reports only some aggregate totals for inclusion in the central database. Because the agency has so far refused to furnish these missing contracts, the Center is now seeking copies via Freedom of Information Act requests.

Disclosure: I'm on the Center for Public Integrity advisory board.

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One Comment

Ed

I haven't read this anywhere else and I don't know if it's already well known, but one thing to consider regarding who's profiting from this war is the fact that the volatility that the war brings to the Middle East results in a significant increase in the price of oil, merely from the fact that there's a war going on. If there was no war, the discount to the price of oil would be substantial. Therefore, OPEC, Bush, and Bush's friends, who have large investments in oil, are all benefitting financially from the war. From their perspective, ending the war would result in a decrease in oil prices — and they wouldn't want that because they're getting richer from the war, merely from the volatility it brings. I could be wrong on this, but it seems quite significant and one of the reasons for the careless attitude and approach to the war. (Incompetence is another reason for the approach to the war.) In either case, win or lose, if they have control of Middle East oil interests or if volatility takes over like it has now, then Bush and his friends win both ways.

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