Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Make Large Profits from American Wars

OK, so President Obama intends to send another 30,000 troops to get bogged down in Afghanistan; and some of his '43 NATO allies' will also augment their meagre contributions.

But what he didn't say was that the unsupervised personnel contributions from contractors and other mercenaries, paid from US funds, has already risen hugely. It's cash dumped into a trough into which many snouts have already greedily snuffled.

Jeremy Scahill, scourge of American military contractors, has these facts to report:

- America now has 189,000 paid personnel on the ground in Afghanistan. (68,000 US troops and 121,000 contractors). -That's a bit more than 7 times the estimated 25,000 fighting strength of the Taliban)

- From June 2009 to September 2009, there was a 40% increase in Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan. During the same period, the number of armed private security contractors working for the Defense Department in Afghanistan doubled, increasing from approximately 5,000 to more than 10,000.

- And less oversight: “The increase in Afghanistan contracts has not seen a corresponding increase in contract management and oversight,” according to McCaskill’s briefing paper. “In May 2009, DCMA [Defense Contract Management Agency] Director Charlie Williams told the Commission on Wartime Contracting that as many as 362 positions for Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) in Afghanistan were currently vacant.

- According to one USAID official, the agency is “sending too much money, too fast with too few people looking over how it is spent.” As a result, the agency does not “know … where the money is going.”

- As for waste and abuse, the subcommittee says that the Defense Contract Audit Agency identified more than $950 million in questioned and unsupported costs submitted by Defense Department contracts for work in Afghanistan. That’s 16% of the total contract dollars reviewed.

So, millions upon millions of dollars are leaking out of the hole at the bottom of the trough.

Hey, you there, now unemployed in NYC, LA, Florida, or Michigan, or in Britain; contact the employers of the moment:

I can't find much about other less well-known companies, but I found this set of advising rules.

If you take the job, you'll find yourself in a country where most of the population hates you, or what your represent, and you may be blown apart by a roadside bomb at any time.

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