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The US Military: now a whore to the Bush Regime's private industry companies

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
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(BusinessWeek) Outsourcing War: An inside look at Brown & Root, the kingpin of America's new military-industrial complex

Early on the morning of Aug. 5, a U.S. mail convoy pulled out of the airport in Baghdad and headed north. A U.S. Army Humvee bristling with weaponry led the way, followed by three heavily loaded trucks, each driven by a civilian employee of Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR). A second military Humvee brought up the rear. Near Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, a bomb detonated under one of the trucks. The military police pried its driver, Fred Bryant Jr., from the wreckage and raced him to a military field hospital. Bryant, 39, died en route, the first KBR combat casualty since the Texas contractor was founded in 1919.

Bryant's death underscores the U.S. military's heavy reliance on private military companies, or PMCs, to wage war in Iraq. By most estimates, civilian contractors are handling as much as 20% to 30% of essential military support services in Iraq. Scores of PMCs are active all across the country, but KBR in particular has become indispensable to the global projection of American military might in this unsettled age. "It is no exaggeration to say that wherever the U.S. military goes, so goes Brown & Root," says P.W. Singer, a Brookings Institution fellow and author of Corporate Warriors. Widely known as Brown & Root, KBR is a unit of oil-services giant Halliburton Co. (HAL ) -- Dick Cheney's old company.

 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
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As much as I dislike this whole affair and many of the companies selected, PMC's do some things better than the military. Having support services outside the immense bureaucracy that is the military has distinct advantages. Perhaps I misunderstand and you problem is with Haliburton, not with the practice.
 

burnedout

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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Here is another excerpt from the same:

"No company is better positioned to take over those jobs than KBR. Over the past decade, the company has housed, fed, and maintained American fighting forces in some of the most geographically remote and politically dangerous regions on earth. It has proven itself capable of efficiently mobilizing its own vast army of engineers, cooks, and logistics experts, often on short notice. Even rival PMCs generally praise it as an adept and reliable operator. "They have a good performance record," says Albert J. Konvicka, president of AECOM Government Services Inc., a Fort Worth-based PMC. "They can react very quickly to situations. I respect them as a competitor."

Damn that Bush! Whoring out our military "over the past decade" to KBR.
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Brown and Root Kicks butt, period. I slept on the back of a M1A1 Abrahms for the 1st 60-days in Bosnia, and didn't have a 'real' shower for 60+ days...until Brown and Root hit the country; then we had 'Tent Cities' and showers and a mess tent and and and and and....quality of life was increased a hundredfold.
 

burnedout

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Tell these kids the deal, burnedout :)
Wasn't Bush in office when KBR supported us down in the Balkans in '95-'96? ;) Oh wait, I know the answer! Bush had some kinda KBR - New World Order deal with Clinton/Gore/Cohen back then for contracting. It all makes perfect sense now!

Seriously, KBR has provided various support for years now. And you are correct. Quality of Life increased exponentially when they set up shop.
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Originally posted by: burnedout
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Tell these kids the deal, burnedout :)
Wasn't Bush in office when KBR supported us down in the Balkans in '95-'96? ;) Oh wait, I know the answer! Bush had some kinda KBR - New World Order deal with Clinton/Gore/Cohen back then for contracting. It all makes perfect sense now!

Seriously, KBR has provided various support for years now. And you are correct. Quality of Life increased exponentially when they set up shop.
Yea, it was Clinton who deployed Brown and Root in Bosnia...and. moreover, weren't we also there because the stability in that region was in 'America's interest' and to stop the spread of violence throughout Europe? ...not that the Serbs were a major threat to France, Germany, and Russia; nevertheless, we were promised to "home by Christmas" (I have this on tape when Clinton came to Baumholder, but he never said which Christmas)...I missed two down there ;) The Turkey T-rats were tasty, though ;)





 

XZeroII

Lifer
Jun 30, 2001
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You didn't know that the Army is 30% private contractors? Where have you been for the past... god knows how long? Get a clue before you start Bush bashing.
 

daniel1113

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2003
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Originally posted by: burnedout
Here is another excerpt from the same:

"No company is better positioned to take over those jobs than KBR. Over the past decade, the company has housed, fed, and maintained American fighting forces in some of the most geographically remote and politically dangerous regions on earth. It has proven itself capable of efficiently mobilizing its own vast army of engineers, cooks, and logistics experts, often on short notice. Even rival PMCs generally praise it as an adept and reliable operator. "They have a good performance record," says Albert J. Konvicka, president of AECOM Government Services Inc., a Fort Worth-based PMC. "They can react very quickly to situations. I respect them as a competitor."

Damn that Bush! Whoring out our military "over the past decade" to KBR.
Could it be that KBR just does a good job? That is usually how a company gets repeat customers...
 

tnitsuj

Diamond Member
May 22, 2003
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The only problem I see with privitization of logistics functions is that it makes some optimistic estimations about future US conflicts and military operations.

US forces have had the luxury of generally not meeting serious organized oppostion with raids and attacks on a large scale on forward logistics points, supply lines, etc. Even with the resistance in Iraq we have comfortable logistics bases in places such as Kuwait and Jordan that the contractors can stage out of. They don't have to fight for every box of ammo or case of MRE's they deliver. They aren't running out in an artillery barrage to grab air dropped palllets etc.

We have also not had any soldiers killed by enemy air strikes since the Korean war. If we got into a real war against a truly effective enemy such as for example NK in the dead of winter, with constant artillery, air strikes, commando raids etc...it may be difficult to maintain logsistics relying on contractors. They can't be ordered to operate when thier is a great chance of death or dismemberment, ordered to work 24 hours a day under fire, etc. etc. They can always just decide to say screw this I am getting out of here. The military can't do that. So in an effort to cut costs we could cripple what has traditionally been a great strength of the US military, our awesome logistics capability.
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Originally posted by: daniel1113

Could it be that KBR just does a good job? That is usually how a company gets repeat customers...

..but that doesn't play into their "Bush and Dick's Big Business Buddies" hypothesis, does it? Stop trying to use logic around here, mister; Bush is the devil and stealing the Iraqi's oil and you know it.
 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,942
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Well it's true this may not be a big deal, especially when compared to our military purchases and uses weapons made in China and those other countries over there. what a joke!
 
Jan 12, 2003
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On the one hand, people whine about the size of the military's budget; on the other hand, people whine about the military purchases from overseas (where the costs are less). You can't have your cake and eat it too...A is A.
 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,942
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whoever allowed our military to purchase foreign parts should definately be labelled unpatriotic and everyone should hate them! like bush labeled republicans who didn't agree with his tax cuts.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
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As Secretary of Defense under President Bush #1, Dick Cheney privatized the U.S. military's logistical support facilities to companies like Brown & Root. So yes, while "boots & coots," as I like to call them, went to places like Bosnia under Clinton, the PMC-role was founded, supported and handed to Halliburton by Cheney in the early 90s. My problem isn't whether they do a good job or not, it's a total lack of competition. Privatization works best when there's competition to keep the costs low.
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Yea, I agree; let's gamble and send over the 'cheapest' provider of vital services to soldiers in the field. I propose that Jimmy Carter and his band of carpenters deploy to the theater of operation and build stuff...
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
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www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Yea, I agree; let's gamble and send over the 'cheapest' provider of vital services to soldiers in the field. I propose that Jimmy Carter and his band of carpenters deploy to the theater of operation and build stuff...
If only they(Carter) could decide on what and where to build;):p

CkG
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
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Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Yea, I agree; let's gamble and send over the 'cheapest' provider of vital services to soldiers in the field. I propose that Jimmy Carter and his band of carpenters deploy to the theater of operation and build stuff...
If it's not saving money, why are we doing it?
 

burnedout

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,249
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Originally posted by: DealMonkey
As Secretary of Defense under President Bush #1, Dick Cheney privatized the U.S. military's logistical support facilities to companies like Brown & Root. So yes, while "boots & coots," as I like to call them, went to places like Bosnia under Clinton, the PMC-role was founded, supported and handed to Halliburton by Cheney in the early 90s. My problem isn't whether they do a good job or not, it's a total lack of competition. Privatization works best when there's competition to keep the costs low.
Um.... E-Systems provided logistical support to the U.S TF in the Sinai during the early 80s. Vinnell, Dyncorp and others provided logistical support during various other deployments I participated in during that decade. In fact, Dyncorp replaced our destroyed BFVs during Desert Storm.

The number of US and Local National civilian contractors in Germany, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Diego Garcia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain providing logistical support in those respective countries can best be summed up as enormous. Private contractors provided logistics in the first 3 countries long before Cheney came to power as SoD or VP.

Speaking of Vinnell, they were awarded a $48 million contract to train the Iraqi Army. Therefore, KBR isn't the big "contract hog" as most detractors beg us to believe.

At any rate, after Robert McNamara left Ford Motor Company in 1960 to take over as Secretary of Defense under President Kennedy, accusations of favoritism were rampant whenever DoD purchased Ford products.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
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Originally posted by: burnedoutUm.... E-Systems provided logistical support to the U.S TF in the Sinai during the early 80s. Vinnell, Dyncorp and others provided logistical support during various other deployments I participated in during that decade. In fact, Dyncorp replaced our destroyed BFVs during Desert Storm.

The number of US and Local National civilian contractors in Germany, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Diego Garcia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain providing logistical support in those respective countries can best be summed up as enormous. Private contractors provided logistics in the first 3 countries long before Cheney came to power as SoD or VP.

Speaking of Vinnell, they were awarded a $48 million contract to train the Iraqi Army. Therefore, KBR isn't the big "contract hog" as most detractors beg us to believe.

At any rate, after Robert McNamara left Ford Motor Company in 1960 to take over as Secretary of Defense under President Kennedy, accusations of favoritism were rampant whenever DoD purchased Ford products.
I didn't mean to imply that Cheney invented the PMC-role. I'm saying that he expanded on it and handed the majority of the role to Halliburton/KBR in the early 90s. The Vinnell $48 mil contact is absolutely dwarfed by the approximately $1.7 BILLION in contracts handed to Halliburton for Iraqi Freedom (link), so yes, I do think Halliburton/KBR is a big contract hog. Nobody else has contracts like them right now. Nobody.
 

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