Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Bremer

Iraq: License to kill (January 3, 2009)

 

A major part of this article was extracted from a chapter in the book of Robert Pelton “License to kill”

In a matter of months after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, private security firms increased wildly and many had multi-billion contracts such as Blackwater, HART, Triple Canopy, DynCorp, ArmorGroup, Control Risks Group (CRG), Erinys, and Aegis.

The pentagon was officially contracting with 60 such “private security” firms, but the unofficial subcontractors doubled the number of firms; for example, Zapata Engineering which handled gathering, transporting, and demolition of ordnance had its own security services; not to mention Halliburton and the like.

           

At the end of the “Cold War” in 1989, the US military force was downsized by 30%. (In my opinion it was not just an economic necessity as it was a political shift of image control; Clinton didn’t want to be cornered by the military for alternatives that can be resolved diplomatically). 

Thus, the military enhanced its policy of privately outsourcing logistical supports

In December 1985, the first Army’s Logistic Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) was introduced; it permitted for civil corporations to supply sanitation, shelter, maintenance, transport, food services, and construction.

           

In 1992, Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense to Bush Senior, contracted Brown and Root (later acquired by the Texas-based Halliburton) to offer a dozen fictional scenarios that could require the deployment of 20,000 troops in 5 base camps for 6 months.  During the Clinton Administration, Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.  In 2001, Cheney secured to Halliburton an extended term of 10 years.

           

Even with the over billing schemes of the private contractors, the military saved money but the main objective was political cost savings when things went wrong: the companies could be blamed, contracts annulled, and their employees lost their jobs without due prosecution.

           

Bush Junior invaded Iraq with about 250,000 troops because, except Britain, no country would contribute forces but the total manpower on the field was much higher because of the private suppliers.  The US refused to increase its forces to at least 400,000 in order to maintain law and order and thus relied on private security services.  

Without the necessary forces on the field Iraq drifted into total chaos.  The chaos sparked impunity for the violent criminal groups that didn’t exist during the reign of Saddam.  Colonel T.E. Lawrence warned 80 years ago about the region “A tissue of small jealous principalities incapable of cohesion, and yet always ready to combine against an outside force.”

           

(Among the multitudes of private providers were dozens of Israeli companies, coordinating their activities with the Mossad intelligence service, looting Iraq, its historical monuments and artifacts, and assassinating the scientists and Iraqi intellectuals).

           

While 50% of the Iraqi was unemployed the private suppliers hired foreigners from the Philippine, Turkey, Pakistan…because they could not trust the Iraqis.  The Iraqi population stayed quiet for 6 months hoping for the reconstruction of the country to take off but it never materialized. The US allocated $20 billions for the reconstruction, mainly from the Iraqi oil production (Bush Junior signed Executive Order to confiscate Iraqi property in the US and funds in American banks and the UN allowed 95% of the income from petroleum export sales to be diverted to the Development Fund for Iraq “to promote the welfare of the Iraqi people through the effective administration of the territory”). 

In 2005, Congress increased the Fund to 55 billions to the year 2007, an influx that benefited the private US sector but not the Iraqi.

           

More than 600 private security contractors have so far died and were not accounted for in the total number of casualties.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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