Since 9/11 Private Contractors Have Made $385 Billion From Overseas Bases

baseworldVia TomDispatch on the staggering sum being passed from U.S. taxpayers to a handful of contracting corporations in the name of maintaining the Pentagon’s global “baseworld”:

Outside the United States, the Pentagon controls a collection of military bases unprecedented in history. With US troops gone from Iraq, it’s easy to forget that we probably still have about 1,000 military bases in other peoples’ lands.

The Pentagon has dispersed around $385 billion to private companies for work done outside the US since late 2001, mainly in that baseworld. That’s nearly double the entire State Department budget over the same period. Almost a third of the $385 billion has flowed into the coffers of just 10 top contractors, [with the largest amount going to] KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.

Once upon a time, however, the military, not contractors, built the barracks, cleaned the clothes, and peeled the potatoes at these bases. This started to change during the Vietnam War, when Brown & Root, better known to critics as “Burn & Loot” (later KBR), began building major military installations in South Vietnam as part of a contractor consortium.

Pentagon spending on its baseworld has been marked by spiraling expenditures, the growing use of uncompetitive contracts and contracts lacking incentives to control costs, outright fraud, and the repeated awarding of non-competitive sweetheart contracts to companies with histories of fraud and abuse.

The $385 billion total is at best a rough estimate; the real totals are surely higher. And there’s been so much cost gouging that any attempt to catalog it across bases globally would be a mammoth effort. The $31-$60 billion in contracting fraud in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars alone, as calculated by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, suggests the global total could be astronomical.

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  • CosmicAmazing

    But… But… They hate us for our freedom.

  • Anarchy Pony

    In other news, water’s blue, sky’s wet.

  • BuzzCoastin

    > 1,000 military bases in other peoples’ lands

    this doesn’t include the 700 bases in Bumphukistan
    or the 1000 secret bases scattered around the 3rd whirled
    and $385 billion isn’t even half of it
    since Uncle Homeland spends more on “defense”
    than all the kunteries of the whirled combined

    • echar

      54% of American taxes goes to defense.

      • BuzzCoastin

        Americans probably spend 100% of their tax dollars on “defense”

        the published “defense” budget is about $1 trillion
        (when you add it all up, hidden here and there)
        CIA, NSA, Military Intelligence, have off balance sheet budgets
        they are not published, but at least $500 billion
        so about 1.5 trillion
        income tax revenue is 1.4 trillion

        UH gets another trillion from this & that
        most of which pays down the debt on the money borrowed for “defense”
        all of which is
        not counting the 2 trillion they lost in the Pentagram sofa
        on Sept 10, 2001

        interestingly
        income tax revenue has risen 500 billion since 2007
        but the other federal revenue is flat

        BTW: know of many bizmesses with 2.5 trillion in revenue?

        • echar

          I rephrase. 54% that they openly (reluctantly?) admit.

          • BuzzCoastin

            imagine if you spent 54% of your income of home security
            would anyone think you were more than a bit nuts
            what if you actually spent all your income on homeland security
            what would people think then?

            anything more than 10% is paranoid delusional crazy
            or
            The Homeland of the Freaks

          • echar

            I are thunking that be a vary intersting wey off lohking at tings. I can haz toiz, edukayshun… Meh!

          • BuzzCoastin

            yeah, that’s the general reaction
            and the primary reason it continues unabated

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