Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"War is a Racket: A very profitable one."

WASHINGTON — Military contracts in the Iraq theater have cost taxpayers at least $85 billion, and when it comes to providing security, they might not be any cheaper than using military personnel, according to a report released on August 12, 2008.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report comes on the heels of increased scrutiny of contractors in the last year, some of whom have been investigated in connection with shooting deaths of Iraqis and the accidental electrocutions of U.S. troops.

The United States has relied more heavily on contractors in Iraq than in any other war to provide services ranging from food service to guarding diplomats. About 20 percent of funding for operations in Iraq has gone to contractors.

Currently, there are at least 190,000 contractors in Iraq, a ratio of about one contractor per U.S. service member.

Danz View: Some contractors and contracts are necessary in time of war, I know that. But, they must be reasonable - the ones in Iraq, based on the evidence to date shows they are not reasonable, but based upon friendships and closeness to those in power (i.e., Cheney from Halliburton who also had KB&R at one time) seems to be the rule of thumb.

SWAG: Marine Major General Smedley D. Butler, winner of two Medals of Honor, wrote about war as a racket from his own experiences back in 1935. It seems he was way ahead of his time in his assessment. Iraq sure reinforces the premise.

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