military contractors

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Saudi Gunman Kills One American, Wounds Another

Motive appears to be workplace dispute at military contractor, not terrorism

(Newser) - A gunman in the capital of Saudi Arabia today killed one American and wounded another after opening fire at a gas station, reports the Guardian . The unidentified victims worked for a US defense contractor called Vinnell Arabia, and the shooting initially set off fears that it was a terror strike... More »

US Military Charter Plane Makes Forced Landing in Iran

Plane told it couldn't fly in Iranian airspace: officials

(Newser) - A commercial aircraft chartered by the US-led military in Afghanistan was re-routed to Iran today and forced to land there in a mix-up over its flight plan, US officials say. The plane was carrying military contractors, some of whom were American, CNN reports. The plane was flying from Bagram airfield... More »

100 US Citizens Stuck in Kuwait

Military contractors barred from leaving base after contract dispute

(Newser) - Well this is one way to handle a corporate dispute. US military translation contractor Global Linguist Solutions ended its contract with its sponsoring Kuwaiti subcontractor, Al Shora, in February. So Al Shora—which just happens to be run by the Kuwaiti prime minister's sister-in-law, sources tell Fox News —... More »

Colonel Gave Nuke Secrets to Chinese Girlfriend: Feds

Defense contractor charged; hid relationship from military

(Newser) - A 59-year-old defense contractor's 27-year-old girlfriend from China may have had some ulterior motives, federal authorities say. Benjamin Bishop, a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve who works in intelligence at Pacific Command, has been charged with passing "national defense information regarding existing war plans, information regarding... More »

Blackwater Pays $7.5M to Settle Arms Case

Feds accused firm of rogue arms, technology trading

(Newser) - The company that used to call itself Blackwater has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle allegations of illegal arms and technology trafficking. Investigators charged the company—which changed its name to Xe and then to Academi —with 17 violations, including illegally possessing unregistered automatic weapons, lying to... More »

US Outsourcing African Spy Missions

US contractors have been searching for Joseph Kony for years, with contractors

(Newser) - The US was searching for Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony for years before it sent troops to central Africa last year , but it was using American contractors instead of the military, the Washington Post finds in a detailed look at the program code-named "Tusker Sand." Private... 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 »

$360M Lost to Insurgents, Criminals in Afghanistan

'Reverse money laundering' turned clean money dirty

(Newser) - While the US military has known for some time that a chunk of the money being spent in Afghanistan on logistics ends up in the hands of the Taliban and criminals , at last the military has an estimate of just how big those losses are—$360 million, according to a... More »

Texas Woman Loses Rape Case Against KBR

She claimed employees of the military contractor assaulted her

(Newser) - A woman who brought a high-profile rape case against military contractor KBR has lost her suit. A jury in Houston yesterday rejected Jamie Leigh Jones' claims that she was drugged and raped by several KBR firefighters while working in Baghdad in 2005, reports the Houston Chronicle . One of the firefighters... More »

Congress: US Wasting Billions in War on Drugs

Pair of reports blast counter-narcotics spending in Latin America

(Newser) - The Obama administration has essentially no evidence that the billions spent combating the drug trade in Latin America have done anything to stem the flow of narcotics into the US, according to a pair of scathing new congressional reports. “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a... More »

'Tens of Billions' Wasted on War Contractors: Report

'Criminal behavior and blatant corruption' a bad combo with 'ill-conceived projects'

(Newser) - The US has misspent “tens of billions of dollars” on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan—at minimum—according to a new report from a bipartisan commission set up to scrutinize the issue. The report bemoaned problems like “ill-conceived projects,” “poor planning and oversight by the US... More »

Contractors Threaten Progress in Afghanistan

Mercenaries drain local military, fight for Taliban

(Newser) - Though military experts have been cautioning against the expanding use of private military contractors since at least the days of Blackwater's string of shoot-outs in Iraq, a consensus is growing that the Pentagon's reliance on contractors in Afghanistan is actually impeding the war's progress, reports the Christian Science Monitor . For... More »

Afghan Warlords, Insurgents Hired to Guard US Bases

Senate panel says lack of oversight creating 'grave risks' for US troops

(Newser) - American contractors in Afghanistan have hired security forces with links to the Taliban, warlords, and even Iranian intelligence services to guard US bases in Afghanistan, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee report. The report found that "systemic failures" exist in the Pentagon's oversight of Afghan guards and that... More »

America to Double Civilian Force in Iraq

Security contractors to swell to 7K

(Newser) - The US military may be rolling out of Iraq , but American civilians are not. To protect its outposts, the State Department plans to double the number of private security guards on the ground, finds the New York Times . As many as 7,000 guards will search for roadside bombs, fly... More »

Blackwater Founder Plans Move to UAE

...which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US

(Newser) - Blackwater founder Erik Prince is not only selling his company , he's getting ready to move to the United Arab Emirates, reports the Nation . It's apparently not for the scenery: The UAE doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US, and five of Prince's top deputies already have been indicted on... More »

US Still Depends on Private Spies in Pakistan

Program supposedly disbanded months ago still thriving

(Newser) - When it emerged earlier this year that US intelligence in Pakistan and Afghanistan was standing largely on the shoulders of private contractors hired as spies—including information used to kill insurgents—the feds quickly said the programs were being discontinued and swept the whole matter under the carpet. The New ... More »

Civilian Contractor Deaths Soar in Afghanistan

In a first, support teams now outnumber soldiers

(Newser) - As the US ramps up its military presence in Afghanistan, life is becoming decidedly more dangerous for civilian contractors. Of the 289 killed there since the war started, 100 died in the last 6 months, reports ProPublica . And in what is apparently a first, the number of civilian workers (107,... More »

Pentagon Official Ran Private Assassin Support Crew

Honcho probed over secret 'Jason Bourne' crew

(Newser) - A senior Pentagon official secretly set up a private network of contractors to help track and kill militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, military officials say. Michael D. Furlong may have diverted money from other programs to fund his own network of former CIA and Special Forces operatives, officials tell the... More »

Blackwater Used South Park Alias to Grab Afghan Guns

Senate panel slams contractor's 'lawless' conduct

(Newser) - A Blackwater subsidiary operating in Afghanistan hired violent drug addicts to train Afghan forces and seized hundreds of guns intended for the Afghan police, a Senate panel has found. The probe, which criticized the US Army for turning a blind eye to Blackwater abuses, found that in one incident a... More »

Suit: Blackwater Charged US for Strippers, Payroll Hooker

Ex-workers accuse company of massive fraud

(Newser) - Controversial private security firm Blackwater Worldwide scammed the US for millions through overbilling, including charges for alcohol, strippers and a hooker on a monthly payroll, according to a lawsuit filed by two ex-employees. The company hired a prostitute to pleasure male employees in Kabul and sent the bill to Uncle... More »

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