US gave away Billion$ above and beyond value of war contracts

Rumsfeld at meal run by Bush’s favorite concierge – KBR

The US government has wasted more than $30bn on private contractors and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade – more than 15% of the total spend – according to a bipartisan group charged with examining the issue.

The figure, described as “sobering but conservative”, illustrated the need for significant law and policy changes to avoid such waste in the future, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan said.

The body, set up by a Senate vote in 2007 to mimic the work of a post-second world war commission that investigated waste, will submit its report to Congress on Wednesday. Submitted to the same people who approved the expenditures in the first place…

At least another $30bn could be wasted if the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan are unable to keep US-run projects running after the US withdraws or simply choose not to do so, Christopher Shays, an ex-Republican congressman, and Michael Thibault, a former deputy director of the Defence Contract Audit Agency, wrote.

Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted through poor planning, vague and shifting requirements, inadequate competition, substandard contract management and oversight, lax accountability, weak inter-agency co-ordination, and subpar performance or outright misconduct by some contractors and federal employees. Both government and contractors need to do better,” they said…

In a separate report, released on Monday, the independent Centre for Public Integrity thinktank said $140bn in defence contracts were awarded without competitive tendering last year – almost triple the sum in 2001…

The report will include 15 recommendations…most of which will be useless crap if Congress maintains business as usual – rubber stamping anything that has the words Homeland Security, Pentagon or Military in the title.

Why should the young men and women of America be required to risk life and limb, take a general pay cut, to go off and fight useless wars – while America’s corporations are guaranteed not only profits but super-profits for supplying the matériel to support the physical structure of those wars, create fresh death and destruction?

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