Iraq contractors

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Iraq Detaining US Contractors

Country is flexing muscles after troop withdrawal: NYT

(Newser) - Many foreign contractors—possibly hundreds, and including Americans who work for the US Embassy—have been detained in Iraq in recent weeks, for periods ranging from a few hours to almost three weeks. Iraqi authorities are cracking down on these contractors in the wake of last month's American troop... More »

Report: We've Wasted $30B in Iraq, Afghanistan

Commission offers proposals to improve management of contracts

(Newser) - The US has basically flushed $30 billion down the toilet, according to a bipartisan commission looking into the money spent on contracts and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan. It found that at least one out of every six dollars spent in the last 10 years has been money wasted. In... More »

Ex-Blackwater Prez Hit With Federal Weapons Charges

Gary Jackson, 4 others allegedly stockpiled arms

(Newser) - The former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former officials at the embattled security firm were indicted today on federal weapons charges, partially the result of a raid 2 years ago by agents that rounded up 22 weapons, including AK-47s. The indictment charges Gary Jackson, who left the company... More »

Civilian Contractors Are the 'Vietnam Vets' of Our Time

Workers injured in war zones are the hidden cost of Iraq, Afghanistan wars

(Newser) - Thousands of Americans have come home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are veterans in all but name, writes T. Christian Miller—and the benefits afforded veterans. The military's unprecedented reliance on civilian contractors has left thousands injured and disabled with no safety net or public gratitude. Whether... More »

US Soldier Held in Iraq Contractor's Shooting Death

Contractor for Houston-based KBR shot to death, died at 8:30am

(Newser) - A US soldier is being held in the shooting death of a civilian contractor in Tikrit, Iraq, reports CNN. Houston-based military contractor KBR said the victim shot to death yesterday at Contingency Operating Base Speicher was an employee. More »

Blackwater Founder Linked to Investigators' Murders

(Newser) - Two former Blackwater employees accused company founder and CEO Erik Prince of murder in statements filed in federal court this week, the Nation reports. The former guards, including an ex-Marine, say Prince may have either killed or facilitated the killing of operatives probing the security contractor's Iraq operations. The investigators... More »

Pentagon Drops Ball on Contractor Oversight: Report

Says tens of billions in contracts lack decent US supervision

(Newser) - Though US defense contracting has reached “unprecedented proportions” in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department isn’t adequately monitoring the contracts, according to an independent watchdog. A report to be presented to Congress tomorrow says the government lacks central records showing the identities, activities, and pay of some 240,... More »

Meet the New Blackwater, Same as the Old Blackwater

New contractor may hire the same people

(Newser) - The military contractor known as Xe—and far better known as the former Blackwater—has changed little more than its name, NPR reports. Despite having said it's leaving the international security business, Xe recently extended its deal with the State Department to fly protective missions in Iraq. And as another... More »

Inquiry Into Iraqi Graft Expands to Top US Officers

(Newser) - The United States' poor track record on rebuilding Iraq has long been chalked up to lousy planning by Pentagon brass. But an expanding investigation by federal authorities adds another element to the mix: possible corruption by the military commanders who oversaw reconstruction in the Wild West days after the invasion,... More »

US Flushes Blackwater Contract

State Dept. calls renewal 'moot' after Iraq denies operating license

(Newser) - The State Department said Friday it will not renew Blackwater's contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq when it expires in May. A department spokeswoman said the contract will lapse because of the Iraqi government's decision to deny Blackwater a license to operate, amid lingering outrage over a 2007 shooting... More »

Halliburton, KBR Sued for Sickening Iraq Troops

Suit charges contractors supplied spoiled food, contaminated water

(Newser) - A lawsuit filed against Halliburton and KBR accuses the military contractors of exposing troops and civilian workers on a US base in Iraq to spoiled food, contaminated water, and toxic fumes from a burn pit, the Military Times reports. The lead plaintiff in the suit said he still has nightmares... More »

Blackwater Faces Hefty Fine for Iraq Gun Violations

Contractor shipped firearms without permit; some may now be on black market

(Newser) - The government will hit security firm Blackwater USA with a multimillion-dollar fine for shipping hundreds of unauthorized guns to Iraq, McClatchy reports. A lengthy State Department investigation has concluded that the security contractor shipped some 900 weapons to the country—some of which likely wound up on the black market—... More »

As Troops Exit Iraq, US Spends More on Contractors

$1.2B spent for private security firms; critics say Iraqis should be picking up slack instead

(Newser) - American troops are trickling home, but at a hefty cost: The US has spent more than $1.2 billion this year on private security contractors—mostly to protect diplomats, but also to secure infrastructure and supplies, USA Today reports. The State Department says now that focus has shifted to rebuilding,... More »

Blackwater Guards May Be Charged in Iraq Shooting

Prosecutors target 6 in Sept. incident

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors are close to seeing indictments against some of the Blackwater security guards linked to the shooting in Baghdad last September that left 17 civilians dead, the Washington Post reports. Target letters have gone out to six Blackwater contractors, sources tell the Post, indicating a high likelihood that the... More »

US Contractor Bills in Iraq to Hit $100B

Workers outnumber troops, account for 20% of war spending

(Newser) - By the end of the year, the US will have spent $100 billion on private defense contractors in Iraq, a congressional report finds, showing more private-sector reliance than any previous wartime. Some 20% of funds spent on the war have gone to contractors, whose numbers are now greater than the... More »

Foreign Companies Cash In on Stable Iraq

Baghdad aggressively courts international investment

(Newser) - With security and stability on the rise, Iraq’s government is turning its attention, and its generous budget, toward reconstruction. That’s led to some big opportunities for Western businesses, which are scrambling to get a cut of the country’s $25 billion reconstruction budget. Iraq, which lacks the resources... More »

Shoddy Electrical Work Killing US Troops in Iraq

Hazard from substandard work worse than Pentagon has acknowledged

(Newser) - Shoddy electrical work by private contractors is making Iraq an even deadlier place for US troops, reports the New York Times. At least 13 troops have died from electrocution and many more have been injured. Others have perished in electrical fires. The problem is worse than the Pentagon has acknowledged,... More »

Army Overseer Ousted After Rejecting Bogus Iraq Bills

Says he was replaced after vowing not to pay dubious bills

(Newser) - Did a top Army official lose his job for trying to save the Army money? Charles Smith was ousted from his job after refusing to pay then-Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $1 billion in charges deemed bogus by Army auditors. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’... More »

Iraq Profitable Business for Bush's Ex-Spies

Armitage, Tenet, Black cash in on outsourcing of intelligence

(Newser) - Richard Armitage rarely saw eye-to-eye with the Bush administration on the Iraq war, but these days he may be more sanguine. That’s because Armitage has profited handsomely from his own national security consulting firm, as well stakes in a dozen private defense and intelligence companies that do business with... More »

Audit Shows Billions Unaccounted for in Iraq

Almost $8.2B in Iraq War funding evaded federal rules, reports the Pentagon

(Newser) - A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in taxpayer money spent in Iraq found that nearly all of the handouts skirted federal rules, and millions of dollars in contracts were awarded with little or no record of what they were for, reports the New York Times. Take the $320.8... More »

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