So where the hell do War Funds go?

What does that $3.5 billion per week for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan actually pay for?

In fact, only 10% of it, or under $350 million per week, goes to pay and benefits for uniformed military personnel.

That's less than a quarter of the $1.4 billion per week that goes to war contractors to pay for everything from bullets to bombers. And much of that money is being wasted every week on the wrong kinds of equipment at exorbitant prices. And even when it is the right kind of equipment, there are often startling delays in getting it to the battlefield, as was the case with advanced armored vehicles for the Marine Corps.

By one reliable estimate, there are more contract employees in Iraq alone -- about 180,000 -- than there are U.S. troops. Individual employees of private military firms like Blackwater and Triple Canopy make up to 10 times what many U.S. enlisted personnel make, or as much as $7,500 per week. If even one-tenth of the 5,000 to 6,000 armed contract employees in Iraq make that much, we're talking about at least $40 million per week.

So most of this money ends up in the hands of private companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the former Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root.

[Excerpt of an article by William D. Hartun, director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation]

See more

No comments: