Posts Tagged ‘contractors’

Scahill: Pentagon Seeks Private Contractor to Move Weapons Through Pakistan/Afghanistan

May 26, 2010

Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, May 25, 2010

The United States military is in the process of taking bids from private war contractors to secure and ship massive amounts of US military equipment through sensitive areas of Pakistan into Afghanistan where it will then be distributed to various US Forward Operating Bases and other facilities. According to the contract solicitation [PDF], “There will be an average of 5000” import shipments “transiting the Afghanistan and Pakistan ground lines of communication (GLOC) per month, along with 500 export shipments.” The solicitation states that, “This number may increase or decrease due to US military transportation requirements,” adding, “The contractor must maintain a constant capability to surge to any location within Afghanistan or Pakistan” within a 30-day period. Among the duties the contractor will perform is “intelligence, to include threat assessments throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

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The Terror-Industrial Complex and Aafia Siddiqui

February 9, 2010

By Chris Hedges,, Feb 8, 2010

AP / Fareed Khan
Mohammad Ahmed, son of Aafia Siddiqui, takes part in a demonstration arranged by Human Rights Network.

The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security comes not from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe.

The bizarre story surrounding Siddiqui, 37, who received an undergraduate degree from MIT and a doctorate in neuroscience from Brandeis University, often defies belief. Siddiqui, who could spend 50 years in prison on seven charges when she is sentenced in May, was by her own account abducted in 2003 from her hometown of Karachi, Pakistan, with her three children—two of whom remain missing—and spirited to a secret U.S. prison where she was allegedly tortured and mistreated for five years. The American government has no comment, either about the alleged clandestine detention or the missing children.

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Stunning Statistics About the War Every American Should Know

December 18, 2009

Contrary to popular belief, the US actually has 189,000 personnel on the ground in Afghanistan right now—and that number is quickly rising.

By Jeremy Scahill, RebelReports, Dec 18, 2009

A hearing in Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Contract Oversight subcommittee on contracting in Afghanistan has highlighted some important statistics that provide a window into the extent to which the Obama administration has picked up the Bush-era war privatization baton and sprinted with it. Overall, contractors now comprise a whopping 69% of the Department of Defense’s total workforce, “the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel in US history.” That’s not in one war zone—that’s the Pentagon in its entirety.

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Sinking deeper in Afghanistan

September 9, 2009

The U.S. is making an ever-greater commitment to a war that is less and less popular, either here or in Afghanistan.


Socialist Worker, September 9, 2009

Tank crews in Afghanistan wait for the order to move out (Edward Stewart)

Tank crews in Afghanistan wait for the order to move out (Edward Stewart)

FACING THE possibility of military defeat, the generals call for a massive troop escalation to turn the tide on the battlefield–and a Democratic president heeds their demands, presiding over a dramatic increase in U.S. money and manpower devoted to the conflict.

That’s a summary of how the U.S. sank itself deeper into the Vietnam War in the 1960s–and now, how the Obama administration is committing itself to the U.S. war on Afghanistan.

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State Department Asks Embattled Blackwater to Continue in Iraq

September 3, 2009

Replacement ‘Not Ready to Take Over’ for Banned Group

by Jason Ditz,, September 02, 2009

The US State Department has announced today that it has asked Blackwater, which was banned by the Iraqi government earlier this year, to continue its operations in Iraq because the contractors for its replacement Dyncorp weren’t ready to take over.

Blackwater contractors were implicated in charges of “improper conduct” related to their 2007 massacre of 17 civilians in Baghdad, leading to considerable outrage over their continued presence by the Iraqi government, which was finally able to ban them outright in January.

Despite the ban, the group has been operating without a license in Iraq on behalf of the State Department since then, though the Iraqi government has been impatient with the delay, it has ruled out a long term presence amid reports that the State Department had made arrangements for a replacement.

But now that replacement says that equipment shortages are keeping it from being able to do the job, leaving the infamous group, which has since changed its name to Xe in an attempt to rebrand itself as something other than a band of brutal mercenaries who play fast and loose with the rules of engagement, filling the role for an unknown period of time. It seems even a formal ban couldn’t get rid of the organization.

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