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The Corporate Occupation of Iraq (December 11, 2006)

In light of the Iraq Study Group recommendations and their failure to address the real problems facing Iraq, the author of this TomPaine opinion piece advises that the US end the corporate invasion of Iraq. US companies, which were awarded lucrative contracts by the US government following the 2003 invasion, failed to reconstruct war-torn Iraq as intended. The author concludes that "the Bush administration must abandon its plan to remake Iraq into an economic wonderland for US corporations," and return Iraq to the Iraqi people "to remake as they themselves see fit."

Census Counts 100,000 Contractors In Iraq (December 5, 2006)

According to a US military census, 100,000 US-government contractors currently operate in Iraq including US citizens, Iraqis and other third-party nationals. This Washington Post article reveals the Pentagon's growing reliance on contractors to provide services such as security, interrogation and maintenance to the armed forces. Yet, the lack of coordination between the military and contractors raises legal and ethical questions about the presence of civilians on the battlefield, with reports of contractors and US troops engaging in "friendly fire."

Labor Laws Trampled at New US Embassy, Ex-Foreman Says (October 25, 2006)

Contracting companies, hired by the US government to rebuild Iraq, engage in labor trafficking and worker abuse, according to this Inter Press Service article. The First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting Company, among others, breaches US labor laws by recruiting their labor force from poor south Asian countries, and paying employees as little as US $10 a day. Furthermore, workers are subjected to poor sanitation, squalid living conditions and physical abuse by their employers.

Some Contracts in Iraq Spend over 50% on Overhead (October 25, 2006)

Corporations hired by the US government to reconstruct Iraq spend over half their budgets on overheads, according to a federal oversight agency report. In comparison, on similar projects in the United States, such costs generally run to a few percent of the total. As this New York Times piece reveals, companies spend more money on housing and feeding employees, completing paperwork and providing security than on their actual construction projects. Meanwhile Iraqi civilians must survive without the oil, water and electricity infrastructures that these companies agreed to build for them.

The Ten Most Brazen War Profiteers (September 5, 2006)

This AlterNet article analyzes the corruption surrounding the reconstruction of Iraq, focusing on the "illegal" acts of ten US and UK corporations. The author assesses billion dollar contracts and the distribution of lucrative oil revenues to expose vast profiteering. Yet despite deliberate acts of "fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, bribery and misconduct," these corporations continue to act with impunity. Furthermore, US officials blame Iraqis for "mismanaging their own infrastructure," despite the obvious lack of Iraqi control over the reconstruction process.

Series of Woes Mar Iraq Project Hailed as Model (July 28, 2006)

US construction giant Bechtel failed to complete a high-tech children's hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Despite the US$50 million allocated by the US Congress and First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's championing of the project, the construction of the hospital fell nearly a year behind schedule and exceeded its expected cost "by as much as 150 percent." While Bechtel attributes the delay and the cost to security problems, the New York Times claims that corruption, mismanagement and waste have blindsided the Basra Children's Hospital, like so many other reconstruction projects in Iraq.

BHP "Wanted Rifkind to Lobby US for Iraq Oil" (July 5, 2006)

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, attempted to land a lucrative oil contract in Iraq just weeks after the outbreak of war in 2003. According to an Australian Royal Commission inquiry, the Anglo-Australian group held secret meetings in May 2003 to discuss lobbying US Vice President Dick Cheney for control of the Halfaya oil field in southern Iraq. The Independent describes the findings as "the most blatant evidence to so far emerge about Western businesses jockeying for a slice of Iraq's oil wealth."

Funds for Iraq Run Low (June 15, 2006)

The US has failed to rebuild Iraq, and Iraqis face a huge "reconstruction gap" as the new government tries to rebuild the country. US contractors have spent and plundered almost all of the US$20 billion that Congress allocated for the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF). Yet basic services such as electricity and water supplies still require restoration three years after the US-led invasion. Meeting immediate needs might require a further US$18 billion to US$28 billion. (Christian Science Monitor)

Iraq Contractors Make Billions on the Front Line (June 13, 2006)

An unprecedented "outsourcing of conflict" has produced a large market for private contractors in Iraq. Lucrative US government contracts go to firms that provide security for US projects and personnel – jobs that in previous conflicts have been done by the military. Issues surround how far these private contractors should go, what authority they have and who should police them. (CNN)

Let's Stay in Iraq Until it's Peaceful or We're Sane, Whichever Comes First (June 7, 2006)

Anthony Arnove's book, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal, argues that "staying the course in Iraq" makes no sense. Arnove refutes all the major claims against immediate withdrawal, stating that the US presence has failed to "bring democracy to Iraq," and that the number of incidents of violence and terrorism continue to increase. (ZNet)

America in Baghdad (May 15, 2006)

Beginning with Halliburton's multi-billion dollar no-bid contract to repair Iraq's oil infrastructure, the US has created "a free-fraud zone" in Iraq, which by some estimates may become "the biggest corruption scandal in history." Following this pattern, the US awarded the contract to build its 104-acre embassy in Baghdad to First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting, despite significantly lower bids from numerous other builders and First Kuwaiti's reputation for trafficking third-country laborers forced to work under horrible conditions. Many industry insiders believe Washington awarded the US$ 592 million contract to First Kuwaiti in return for Kuwait's cooperation in the US-led invasion. (TomPaine)

Blood Is Thicker than Blackwater (May 8, 2006)

The private security firm Blackwater gained notoriety following the death of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004. As this article from The Nation points out, private security companies in Iraq have received billions of dollars in government contracts, while facing "zero liability" for their actions. In the case of Blackwater, company officials deliberately withheld protections to its staff in order to boost profits and demonstrate increased "efficiency," thereby securing further contracts. This arrangement has worked well for both the Bush administration, which has outsourced key elements of the ongoing occupation, and the highly profitable security firms, despite the deaths of several hundred security contractors (and thousands of Iraqi civilians) since the US-led invasion.

Billions Wasted in Iraq, Says US Audit (May 1, 2006)

According to a report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), contractors in Iraq have squandered millions in US reconstruction money and failed to complete the bulk of projects assigned. In one case, a US contractor completed only 6 of 150 proposed health centers after spending the bulk of its US$ 186 million contract. While security concerns have slowed the pace of work, the report attributes the failed reconstruction effort to corruption and mismanagement. So far, 72 cases of alleged fraud are under investigation. (Guardian)

Iraq War Contractors Ordered to End Abuses (April 24, 2006)

US General George Casey has ordered contractors to return confiscated passports to the thousands of illegally trafficked laborers – mostly from South and Southeast Asia – working in Iraq. As part of a US$12 billion contract awarded to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, some 35,000 "third country nationals" serve food, wash clothes, clean bathrooms, and perform various other menial tasks on US military bases around Iraq, often under forced and substandard living conditions. For laborers who have been kidnapped or deceptively lured to Iraq, the new orders seek to clarify worker contracts, improve working conditions, and allow trafficked laborers to return to their home countries. (Chicago Tribune)

US Firms Suspected of Bilking Iraq Funds (April 16, 2006)

As part of Iraq's reconstruction, US contractors swindled hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money and US reconstruction funds. Shortly before "transferring sovereignty," the Coalition Provisional Authority created a law granting US contractors immunity from prosecution in Iraq. Though the US government has been able to prosecute fraudulent contractors in US courts, thus recouping US funds, the applicable law does not extend to the Iraqi government and money from the Development Fund for Iraq. Given the legal vacuum, Baghdad has no way of reclaiming the millions of dollars squandered under the US-led occupation. (Boston Globe)

British Companies Making a Fortune out of Iraq Conflict (March 13, 2006)

According to a joint investigation by Corporate Watch and the Independent, British corporations have profited handsomely from the war in Iraq, claiming £1.1 billion in profits in the first three years since the US-led invasion. While construction and defense firms such as Amec and Aegis have posted the greatest profits, banks, public relations firms, architects and oil companies have all benefited from the war and occupation. Investigators expect actual profits to be much higher, as many deals have been kept secret and oil contracts have not yet been handed out.

Iraq Occupation Makes Possible Record Profits for British Private Military Contractor (February 28, 2006)

Thanks to Pentagon defense contracts, the British firm Aegis Defence Services announced record profits in 2005 and a 100-fold increase in turnover since the US-led invasion of Iraq. Private military companies (PMCs) such as Aegis have played an unprecedented role in the occupation, with over 25,000 contractors – the second largest force behind the US military – operating in Iraq. Annual PMC contracts in Iraq range from US$10 - 100 billion. (World Socialist Web Site)

Army to Pay Halliburton Unit Most Costs Disputed by Audit (February 27, 2006)

The US military has decided to pay Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) for almost all its US$2.41 billion no-bid contract to rebuild Iraq's oil industry. Despite military audit reports that identified US$263 million of KBR's costs as "excessive or unjustified," the military has only decided to withhold US$10.1 million, or 3.8 percent of disputed costs. With other reconstruction-related contracts, the US has on average withheld between 55 and 75 percent of auditor-recommended costs. The US will use US$1.5 billion in Iraqi oil money from the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) to pay KBR, while the other $900 million will come from US taxpayers. (New York Times)

Baghdad Embassy Bonanza (February 12, 2006)

The US has awarded a $592 million contract to First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting (FKTC) to build a new US embassy in Baghdad. FKTC, whose contract with the US State Department has been heavily concealed, relies on tens of thousands of low-wage Filipino and Nepali migrant laborers who are coerced into going to Iraq and subjected to "abysmal working conditions." The embassy, situated on 104 acres and consisting of 21 buildings, will be the largest embassy in the world and is one of the few Iraqi construction projects on track for its scheduled completion. (CorpWatch)

Halliburton Cited in Iraq Contamination (January 22, 2006)

Leaked internal documents reveal that Halliburton exposed troops and civilians at a US military base in Iraq to contaminated water, adding to its already-poor performance in the US-led reconstruction of Iraq. According to a Halliburton official, the company provided water with twice as much contamination normal as untreated water from the Euphrates River. (Associated Press)

Speech Delivered at the International Peace Conference (January 11, 2006)

In this speech, Hassan Jumaa Awad, President of the General Union of Oil Employees in Basra, outlines the Iraqi labor movement's opposition to foreign occupation and US plans for privatizing and controlling Iraqi oil. Despite the incursions of firms such as Halliburton and Kellogg, Brown, and Root, the Iraqi labor movement has fought to maintain public control over Iraqi natural resources while striving for economic justice and a united and democratic Iraqi society.



IAMB Says US Should Monitor the Development Fund for Iraq (December 28, 2005)

Officials from the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), which is responsible for tracking the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), have expressed concern over the improper use of Iraqi oil revenues, weak spending controls, and non-competitive bidding in Iraqi reconstruction. IAMB audit reports indicate that $1.4 billion of DFI money, awarded to Kellogg, Brown and Root on a no-bid basis for oil infrastructure restoration, may have been over-estimated and improperly used. (Axcess News)

US Missteps Leave Iraqis in the Dark (December 25, 2005)

The US has had little success in its $4 billion plan to restore Iraqi electricity supply to prewar levels. Mismanagement and poor decision-making by US officials have played a significant role in stifling progress. In one case, the US paid the Bechtel Corporation $69 million for a natural-gas-fired power plant that was never completed. Because of surging electricity demand, Iraqis will have fewer hours per day of electricity even after overall supply returns to pre-war levels. (Los Angeles Times)

Colonel Is Accused of Bribery in Iraq (December 2, 2005)

Prosecutors in the US have charged Lieutenant Colonel Michael Brian Wheeler of bribery and theft related to Iraq's reconstruction. Wheeler, who is the highest-ranking US official charged with reconstruction-related fraud, has been accused of rigging contracts worth several million dollars, while funneling $100,000 of stolen reconstruction money into a personal account. (Wall Street Journal)

American Faces Charge of Graft for Work in Iraq (November 17, 2005)

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), an independent oversight agency, has charged Philip H. Bloom of paying thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in obtaining $3.5 million in Iraqi reconstruction contracts for the multiple companies he controlled. According to the complaint, filed with the US Federal District Court of the District of Columbia, Bloom paid up to $200,000 a month to several US officials and their spouses within the Coalition Provisional Authority in return for lucrative reconstruction projects. (New York Times)

US Should Repay Millions to Iraq, a UN Audit Finds (November 5, 2005)

The US should pay the Iraqi government up to $208 million for mishandled contracting work, according to recommendations by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) of the Development Fund for Iraq. The IAMB audit charges Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton given several no-bid contracts, with inflating prices on oil deliveries and failing to sufficiently complete electricity and oil reconstruction projects. (New York Times)

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Asia's Poor Build US Bases in Iraq (October 3, 2005)

Laborers from various Asian countries are increasingly employed in Iraq under reconstruction projects led by corporations such as Halliburton and Bechtel. While their US counterparts can earn upwards of $8,000 a month, many of these workers, known as third country nationals, earn as little as $200 a month, while being forced to work overtime in dangerous conditions without proper equipment or protection. (CorpWatch)

Iraq Constitution Lays Ground for Oilfield Sell-Off (October 1, 2005)

Despite noisy debates over Iraq's draft constitution, references in the document to Iraq's oil resources have evaded public comment. The interim government is already going ahead with a plan in which the state-owned Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) may only develop oil-fields that are already in production. Development of all other oil fields, the constitution specifies, should follow "modern techniques" and "market principles," a code for Production Sharing Agreements with major firms such as BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil. At estimated reserve levels, that leaves 64% of Iraq's oil open to foreign companies, casting a shadow on Iraq's sovereignty and economic viability. (Carbon Web)

Operation Corporate Freedom: The IMF and the World Bank in Iraq (September, 2005)

The Paris Club of Creditors, which includes the G8 industrialized countries, is using the promise of debt cancellation as leverage for controlling Iraq's new economic structure. In exchange for forgiveness of its national debt, Iraq must accept IMF and World Bank economic liberalization policies. Though the agreement appears to benefit Iraq, its provisions would open up Iraq's economy to foreign corporations by privatizing state-owned industries and curtailing public services. (50 Years Is Enough)

My Sadness at the Privatisation of Iraq (August 12, 2005)

This article makes the case that the US and UK did not invade Iraq in order to bring democracy to the country. Rather, their goal was the "imposition of a neoliberal capitalist economy controlled and run by US transnational corporations." Paul Bremer, when he was leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority, issued decrees authorizing the large-scale privatization of the Iraqi economy. These laws still stand, and the Iraqi government is unlikely to reverse them as long as the US keeps a military presence in the country. (Times, London)

Attacking the World's Constitutions (August 2005)

Poor countries suffer from the severe social and economic consequences of neoliberal economic reforms that the Bretton Woods Institutions have imposed on them since the 1990s. These reforms, implemented through constitutional change, serve the political and economic interests of the rich countries. For instance, in Iraq, "the US appointed an interim government that was bound by an interim constitution which protected the US-favored investment and privatization laws." The author warns that while "the focus on constitutional change is political, the driving motive is to create market economies that further leads to neo-colonial exploitation." (IBON Features)

Worry Grows as Foreigners Flock to Iraq's Risky Jobs (July 30, 2005)

Many Colombian nationals are signing up for jobs in the private military industry in Iraq as the US "outsources" its operations. Contractors hire them due to their US military training and their willingness to work for less money than their US counterparts. However, critics charge that there is no way to properly investigate these Colombian veterans' backgrounds for human rights abuses. They also say that the very presence of soldiers-for-hire in Iraq raises serious ethical, financial and legal questions. (Los Angeles Times)

Security Costs Slow Iraq Reconstruction (July 29, 2005)

This article surveys the state of Iraq reconstruction and finds little to justify the Bush administration's rosy pronouncements. High security costs consume as much as 36 percent of funds earmarked for Iraqi reconstruction projects, according to a US General Accountability Office (GAO) report. The report also said that a drop in crude oil production since the start of the war hinders reconstruction efforts. A separate report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said that corporate contractors have in many instances overcharged the US government for their services. (Washington Post)

Iraq Seen Wasting $300 Million on Substandard Military Equipment (July 14, 2005)

According to the Iraqi Minister of Defense, the ministry has squandered vast amounts of money on obsolete and defective military equipment in a "massive web of corruption" that enriched senior Iraqi defense officials. The corruption dates back to the beginning of Ayad Allawi's interim government, but Iraqi bureaucrats say even after the handover US officials held daily briefings with Defense Ministry officials and therefore must have known about the fraudulent contracts. (Knight Ridder)

Halliburton Wins New $4.9 Billion Iraq Contract (July 6, 2005)

On May 1, 2005, the Pentagon awarded a new contract worth almost $5 billion to the oil services company Halliburton. The contract, which neither the US army nor the company announced publicly, could raise Halliburton's billings to almost $20 billion for 2005. The value of the contract indicates the Pentagon's satisfaction with the company, despite critics' allegations of "sloppy accounting, bill padding, and unsubstantiated charges." (CorpWatch)

Marines Jail Contractors in Iraq (June 7, 2005)

Rising tensions between security contractors and US military personnel in Iraq led to the jailing of several contractors in Fallujah by US marines. Marines accused the contractors of firing on a US guard tower as well as "firing at and near civilian cars on the street." Author and journalist Robert Young Pelton commented that "animosity seems to be building between Bush's contractors and Bush's war." Zapata, the US company which employed the detained contractors, is not licensed under CPA Memorandum 17, which states that all security companies must register with the government. (CorpWatch)

Iraq Security Companies Lobby for Heavy Arms (June 6, 2005)

Some private security companies (PSCs) in Iraq would like to carry "heavy" weapons, such as grenade launchers and shoulder-fired anti-tank rockets. Though certain members of the PSC community say such weapons are unnecessary, arguing that PSC operatives "do not conduct offensive operations," others insist that they need bigger guns because they "cannot stand toe-to-toe with well-armed insurgent forces." The article notes that PSC duties in Iraq increasingly mirror those of the US military. (Washington Times)

Adding Insult to Injury (May 24, 2005)

Many former Halliburton and KBR employees who suffered injuries in Iraq find themselves battling for insurance coverage. Of the nearly 3,000 filed death and injury claims related to the Iraq war, insurers have disputed more than half, and an additional 821 remain unresolved. Further, because KBR employs 70 percent of its workers through Cayman Island subsidiaries, its employees are not eligible for unemployment benefits. (CorpWatch)

Rules and Cash Flew Out the Window (May 20, 2005)

US officials in Iraq scrambled to award over 1000 contracts in June of 2004 alone, just before the "transfer of sovereignty" to the Iraqi interim government. Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveal "that the US had improperly used Iraqi funds to award at least $85 million in contracts after its authority had lapsed." One advisor to the US said "the Iraqis will be paying for the screw-ups of the [Coalition Provisional Authority] for a long time."

Contract Quagmire in Iraq (April 27, 2005)

The Iraqi government has refused to pay several companies for contract work. US officials say these are simply "billing disputes" which stem from the transition of control from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). But critics say that the disputes "are widespread and much more serious," reflecting the CPA's slipshod methods of awarding contracts. (CorpWatch)

Halliburton Unit's Work in Iraq Is Called "Poor" (April 12, 2005)

The US State Department and the US Embassy in Baghdad have both criticized Halliburton and its subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), for Iraq's "disappointing" oil exports and "serious cost overruns." A State Department report released in April of 2005 "provides the [US] government's strongest public criticism yet of KBR's performance in southern Iraq." (New York Times)

Iraq Expo Attracts Large Crowds of Exhibitors and Participants (April 5, 2005)

The "Rebuild Iraq 2005" expo in Amman, Jordan attracted 985 exhibitors from four countries, pitching everything from paper products to bridges. Thousands of participants "interested in getting their foot in the door" for the large number of anticipated Iraq reconstruction projects also attended the trade fair. But because of the bad state of Iraqi infrastructure and poor security situation, some businessmen remain weary of working in Iraq. (Daily Star-Lebanon)

Follow the Money (April 4, 2005)

The Bush administration has declined to take any part in a lawsuit against Custer Battles, a US contract firm accused of defrauding the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq of US$50 million. Washington defends its inaction by arguing "the US government was not technically defrauded" because the CPA "was a multinational institution." This stance, however, contradicts a 2003 law, which called the CPA "an entity of the United States government." (Newsweek)

Halliburton Bribery Scandal Deepens (March 29, 2005)

Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, subcontracted out most of the work specified in its US-awarded contract in Iraq. According to a memo from the US embassy in Kuwait, "anyone [...] who offers to provide services will be asked for a bribe." Since word got out that companies had to buy off KBR employees to receive subcontracts, several KBR managers in Kuwait "have quit or were fired in mysterious circumstances" in a "major house-cleaning." (CorpWatch)

Is Iraq Becoming the World's Biggest Cash Cow? (March 18, 2005)

The US has charged a former employee of Halliburton Corp. and a Kuwaiti subcontractor "of devising a scheme to defraud the United States of more than 3.5 million dollars" in a contract scam in Iraq. The charges come just a day after Transparency International released its Global Corruption Report 2005, in which the watchdog warned that "profiteering threatens to undermine the reconstruction of Iraq, where most of the companies operating are US-based." (Inter Press Service)

Pentagon Audit Calls Halliburton's Price "Illogical" (March 15, 2005)

The Pentagon's Defense Contract Audit Agency found Halliburton Corp. to have charged "$27.5 million to deliver $82,100 worth of liquefied petroleum gas," calling the price "illogical." It also faulted the company for "misleading auditors, poorly managing multimillion-dollar subcontracts and failing to deliver key documents to justify the prices paid for fuel." Halliburton responded by saying it consulted with the company's internal "worldwide suppliers listing" to determine whether fuel prices were fair, though an investigation found that the company did not maintain such a listing. (Los Angeles Times)

Army Ignored Broker on Arms Deal (March 15, 2005)

The Inspector General for Iraq's reconstruction recently criticized the US for failing to account for nearly $9 billion in contracts issued using Iraqi funds. This Los Angeles Times piece provides one example of such mismanagement, in which overseers ignored a US contractor's warnings of corruption within an arms procurement program for the Iraqi government. The US general presiding over the program denied that he was informed of "any improprieties," and $24.7-million intended as payment for the contractor is unaccounted for. Meanwhile, the individual accused of corruption continues to work on US reconstruction projects.

Firms Tap Latin Americans for Iraq (March 3, 2005)

Security companies active in Iraq look to Latin America for trained fighters, many of whom have experience in ongoing conflicts throughout the region and are willing to work for less than US and European recruits. Such work attracts Latin Americans, as it pays several times more than what they make in jobs as soldiers or policemen in their own countries. Iraq has some "20,000 armed personnel employed by private contractors [. . .] making up the second largest foreign armed force in the country." (Christian Science Monitor)

Audit Board Investigates Contracts (February 28, 2005)

Iraq's Board of Supreme Audit (BSA) will scrutinize all government contracts made since April 2003 to assess corruption levels. According to the BSA's president, "all contracts with all ministries will be audited, ones made locally or with international companies." Officials in Iraq's interim government ordered the investigation. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Company's Work in Iraq Profited Bush's Uncle (February 23, 2005)

The Los Angeles Times reports that William H.T. Bush, President George W. Bush's uncle, earned $450,000 exercising stock options with a defense contractor active in Iraq. The Pentagon inspector general is now investigating some of the company's contracts as they "appear to have anomalies in them." The company, Engineered Support Systems Inc., denies any wrong-doing and promises to "cooperate fully."

Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq (February 15, 2005)

Private security company Custer Battles received approximately $15 million from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in exchange for providing security for civilian flights at Baghdad International Airport, despite the fact that no planes flew during the contract term. Democrats in the US Senate have unsuccessfully attempted to get Republicans to hold hearings on the issue. As one Democrat in the Senate described it, "there is a massive amount of waste, fraud, and abuse going on here, and nobody seems to care very much." (Washington Post)

Colombia & Iraq: Halliburton Makes the Connection (January 17, 2005)

As Colombia's "fragile democracy" fights a guerilla insurgency, the US government has trained the country's army officials in protecting oil infrastructure and sent more than $3.3 billion in military assistance since 2000. According to Bogota's El Tiempo, Halliburton has now recruited retired Colombian officials to secure oil fields and pipelines in Iraq. Washington's use of Colombian soldiers "through decades of a mutating war" on communism, drugs and now terrorism, could cause the country to fall back to an authoritarian regime. (World War 4 Report)


The Top Ten War Profiteers of 2004 (December 31, 2004)

The Center for Corporate Policy lists ten companies that made significant profits in 2004 thanks to the US-led invasion of Iraq. Bechtel, Custer Battles and Lockheed Martin have, amongst others, benefited from various stages of the Iraq war and the country's reconstruction through Pentagon-awarded no-bid contracts and by overcharging for provided services.

US to Take Bigger Bite of Iraq's Economic Pie (December 23, 2004)

The Iraqi interim government's "economic moves" seem especially beneficial for US companies, says Inter Press Service. Proposals include opening additional oil reserves to foreign firms, privatizing the Iraqi National Oil Company, training oil-sector personnel in the US, and reducing or canceling the country's oil deals with (anti-war) France and Russia. Such proposals, likely pushed by US economic advisors embedded in the Iraqi government, demonstrate Washington's wish to "reshape the Arab nation in its image."

Reconstruction Deal With a 'Merchant of Death'? (December 13, 2004)

A Texas charter firm allegedly controlled by Russian arms trafficker Victor Bout has been making flights to Iraq on behalf of Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. The news forms an embarrassment for US officials, who recently barred US citizens from doing business with Bout, as well as for Halliburton, which reportedly had "no knowledge" of the alleged Bout link. (Newsweek)

Cost of Guards, Guns Deters Some Contractors (December 6, 2004)

An increasing number of contractors working in Iraq spends almost one third of contract revenues on security measures. The resistance continues to attack US companies in Iraq, which have had to take elaborate measures to protect their staff. Contractors are becoming increasingly frustrated as the worsening security situation impedes reconstruction. (Inter Press Service)

Halliburton May Have Been Pressured by US Diplomats to Disregard High Fuel Prices (November 11, 2004)

State Department documents show that US diplomats pressured oil services company Halliburton to use Kuwaiti subcontractor Altanmia, despite evidence that the company hugely overcharged Halliburton. Altanmia imported Kuwaiti fuel to Iraq after the US invasion in March 2003. The documents suggest that US diplomats were looking for Kuwaiti support in the struggle against Iraq and therefore ignored Altanmia's overcharging and fraud. (New York Times)

Only a Small Part of Funds to Help Rebuild Iraq (November 1, 2004)

Lawlessness and corruption plague the reconstruction process in Iraq. US authorities have only spent a small fraction of the reconstruction money that Congress allocated and Iraq has only received $2.7 billion of the $13.5 billion international lenders promised. (Washington Post)

FBI Investigates Halliburton's No-Bid Contracts (October 28, 2004)

The FBI has launched an inquiry on why the Pentagon gave no-bid contracts to US Vice President Dick Cheney's oil services company Halliburton. Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Army Corps of Engineers' chief contracting officer, said that her agency unfairly awarded KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars for work in Iraq. A contract between Halliburton and the US military authorized the Corps to spend up to $7 billion in oil restoration work, but the actual cost so far has only been $ 2.5 billion. (Associated Press)

Adventure Capitalism (October 26, 2004)

Greg Palast uncovers a 101-page document from the US State Department entitled "Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Growth." The economy plan contains new "policies, laws and regulations" for conquered states and "reads like a Christmas wish list drafted by US corporate lobbyists." It foresees low taxes on all state enterprises sold to foreign operators as well as privatization of Iraqi oil and related industries. (TomPaine)

Memos Warned of Billing Fraud by Firm in Iraq (October 23, 2004)

Former company managers of Custer Battles, a security firm that won large contracts in Iraq, have accused the firm of billing the US occupation authorities for nonexistent services and overcharging for the services it provided. The former employees have filed a lawsuit, charging the company with defrauding the federal government of tens of millions of dollars. (New York Times)

Plans to Phase Out Rations to Boost Economy Still Debated (October 20, 2004)

Iraq's Ministry of Trade wants to phase out food rations and boost the economy by joining the World Trade Organization. Officials who asked for preferential treatment from the world free trade body see WTO membership as a driving force in the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Under the new system of liberalized prices, only people who apply for food rations will receive them. According to a World Food Programme survey, a quarter of the Iraqi population is still highly dependent on rations. (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

Reparations in Reverse (October 15, 2004)

Rather than give ordinary Iraqis compensation for crimes suffered under Saddam Hussein, Iraq will pay $200 million in war reparations to some of the richest countries and corporations around the world. Debt organization Jubilee Iraq argues that reparations should be the responsibility of governments who loaned billions of dollars to Saddam Hussein, knowing he spent the money on weapons that enabled him to wage war on his own people and his neighbors. (Globe and Mail)

Cultural Genocide (October 14)

The US and Iraqi governments' "quick action projects like the cleanup in Najaf" greatly prioritize security. As a result US contractors have demolished the historic center, after fighting ended with Moqtada-al-Sadr's resistance forces, in order to create free fire zones for humvees and control visitors to the shrine of Imam Ali. (Al Ahram)

Audit Set of Halliburton No-bid Iraq Deals (October 14, 2004)

The US government has agreed to order an audit of Pentagon contracts awarded to Halliburton, which won an estimated $1.5 dollars in no-bid contracts from the Development Fund for Iraq. Critics accused the company of overcharging and obtaining reconstruction contracts through political influence, but the oil services firm strongly denies any wrongdoing. (Reuters)

Iraq Pleads for Financial Assistance (October 13, 2004)

At the Meeting of the Donor Committee of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq in Tokyo, Iraqi interim deputy leader Barham Saleh and other members of Iraq's interim government stressed that their country desperately needs aid, and tried to convince donors that the security situation in Iraq allows the government to spend the money effectively. In his opening speech to the two day conference, Saleh stated that "assistance and aid in the short term is the key to destroying the causes of terrorism. It is also the only way we can build a sustainable, long-term future for our people." (Associated Press)

James Baker's Double Life (October 12, 2004)

Former US Secretary of State James Baker's appointment as Special Presidential Envoy on Iraq's Debt is likely to result in everything but, in the words of President George Bush, "a noble mission." A senior counselor and equity partner with merchant bank and defense contractor "the Carlyle Group", Baker is exploiting his position as envoy on Iraq's debt to further his personal and clients' corporate interests. Naomi Klein exposes a complex deal of transfer of Iraqi debts owed to Kuwait to a consortium headed by Carlyle, which will invest the money in a private fund. (Nation)

Paris Club Remains Divided Over Iraqi Debt Forgiveness (October 2, 2004)

A committee meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank exposed differences between the US and its major economic allies over Iraq debt relief. France and Germany, who opposed the invasion of Iraq, object to the US proposal of erasing up to 95% of the country's debt because they want to see the same generous debt relief terms for the world's poorest countries in Africa and elsewhere. (Wall Street Journal)

IMF Approves Aid for Iraq, Pushes for Debt Relief (September 29, 2004)

The International Monetary Fund approved $436 million in emergency lending to Iraq to help economic recovery and reconstruction in the war-torn country. But as a result of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, senior World Bank officials warn that economic recovery in Iraq will be very slow despite "signs of an economic pickup. " (Reuters)

Harnessing Halliburton (September 27, 2004)

After the US military announced it was breaking up its logistics contract with Halliburton, US senators introduced a proposal to re-establish a special committee that would oversee the contracts awarded in the war on terrorism. The proposal came after Pentagon watchdogs drew attention to corporate crime in Iraq and called for Halliburton's suspension. (Tom Paine)

Costs Whittle Funds to Iraqis (September 26, 2004)

Costs of battling the insurgency are consuming more than half of the $ 18.4 billion of US aid originally set aside for rebuilding Iraq. With insurgents attacking construction sites and kidnapping contractors, costs for security and insurance are rising and Iraqis are unlikely to benefit from US aid. (Los Angeles Times)

Baghdad Year Zero (September 26, 2004)

Naomi Klein presents an in-depth analysis of the illegality of foreign investment in Iraq engineered by Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority prior to the "transfer of sovereignty" in June 2004. By putting a puppet government in place, Washington managed to circumvent international law, which prohibits occupiers from selling state assets. But investing in Iraq is no longer appealing to foreign companies, because of the ever-growing insurgency. (truthout)

Army to Rebid Part of Iraq Contract (September 8, 2004)

The US Army announced plans to revoke nearly $13 billion in "troops support" contracts awarded to US giant Halliburton, breaking the large contract into several subcontracts. The surprise move comes only three weeks after the Defense Department announced it would not penalize Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, by withholding 15% of future payments owed to the company. (Washington Post)

US Diplomat Wants More Funds for Iraqi Security (August 30, 2004)

US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte proposed a shift of $3.37 billion in reconstruction funds appropriated by the US Congress from Iraqi reconstruction projects to enhance "security" in the country. The plan is sure to draw opposition from lawmakers in Washington and from official in the Department of Defense, especially those with ties to major US contractors working in Iraq, who stand to lose from any shift in reconstruction funds. (Wall Street Journal)

Army Drops Halliburton Penalty (August 18, 2004)

The US Department of Defense announced that it will not levy a 15% penalty on contracts awarded to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), abruptly reversing its earlier decision. A spokeswoman for the Army Field Support Command offered no justification for the ruling; however the report concludes that the Army yielded to the threat of legal action by Halliburton. (Los Angeles Times)

Pentagon Questions Halliburton on $1.8 Billion of Work in Iraq (August 11, 2004)

Pentagon auditors criticized Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root's (KBR) "internal control policies," claiming its practices are "inadequate for providing verifiable, supportable, and documented cost estimates that are acceptable for negotiating a fair and reasonable price." However, Pentagon officials concede that the Bush administration will "essentially forgive" KBR's actions and will not withhold payments on Iraqi contracts. (Wall Street Journal)

$1.9 Billion of Iraq's Money Goes to US Contractors (August 4, 2004)

Audits conducted on the DFI by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board and the CPA-Inspector General reveal that the CPA shifted billions of dollars in reconstruction contracts originally appropriated by the US Congress, to the DFI. Critics contend that the CPA disbursed funds from the DFI at their own free will, as it operated with very few restrictions and without any independent oversight body. Critics add that the CPA even "violated its own rules, authorizing Iraqi money when it didn't have a quorum or proper Iraqi representation at meetings." (Washington Post)

State Department Criticizes Focus of Iraq Effort (July 22, 2004)

The US Department of State announced plans to redirect Iraqi reconstruction funds appropriated by the US Congress from large-scale, multi-million dollar public-works projects, to smaller projects. Officials contend that the shift in reconstruction priorities creates employment opportunities for ordinary Iraqis, helping to stabilize Iraq and fostering democracy in the country. (Los Angeles Times)

Advocates of War Now Profit from Iraq's Reconstruction (July 14, 2004)

This Los Angeles Times investigation reveals that many lobbyists and aides to senior White House officials who pressed the case for war, are now profiting from the spoils of Iraq's reconstruction. Prominent figures include former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, who works for two private companies that do business in Iraq, routinely provides advice on "Iraq and other matters" to US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Shameless in Iraq (June 24, 2004)

Naomi Klein examines how the Occupation Authorities mismanaged Iraq's reconstruction. Klein argues that Iraq's reconstruction "was seen not by Iraqis as a recovery from war," but as an "extension of the occupation." Iraqis lost desperately needed jobs to foreign contractors and suppliers, resulting in the reconstruction itself becoming a target of the resistance. (The Nation)

You Don't Have to be Poor to Work There, But it Helps (June 15, 2004)

Rising attacks against Coalition forces and foreign contractors are not deterring recruitment of workers as hundreds of US citizens continue to seek employment in Iraq. The Independent argues that with the US unemployment rate at 5.6%, many are left without an alternative, and the prospect of earning up to $100,000 dollars per year is worth the risk.

White House Officials and Cheney Aide Approved Halliburton Contract (June 14, 2004)

A US Congressional investigation reveals that in the fall of 2002, the Pentagon "sought and received the assent of senior Bush administration officials, including the Vice President's Chief of Staff," requesting that Halliburton prepare "secret plans for restoring Iraq's oil facilities." The allegations further discredit the assertions of Vice President Richard Cheney that he "knew nothing in advance of the Halliburton contracts." (Washington Post)

Controversial Commando Wins Iraq Contract (June 9, 2004)

The US Department of Defense awarded a $293 million contract to Aegis Defense Services headed by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer, a former officer with the British military's elite "Scots Guard," to coordinate all the security for Iraqi reconstruction projects. Spicer is under investigation for "illegally smuggling arms and planning military offensives to support mining, oil, and gas operations around the world." (CorpWatch)

The Paper Trail (May 30, 2004)

An internal Pentagon e-mail sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official reveals "that `action' on a multibillion-dollar Halliburton contract was `coordinated' with Cheney's office." This note raises further allegations of interference by White House officials, including Vice President Richard Cheney, in awarding lucrative Iraq reconstruction contracts to US corporations. (Time)

Records Show US Failing to Keep Promises in Iraq (May 21, 2004)

The New Standard reports that only a fraction of Iraq's reconstruction projects are underway, while the number of Iraqis working on the projects is below one percent of Iraq's available workforce. Of the $18.4 billion earmarked by the US solely for reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure, $1.6 billion in contracts were awarded, while the CPA diverted $300 million towards security and administration costs.

The Trafficker Viktor Bout Lands US Aid for Services Rendered in Iraq (May 18, 2004)

A Le Monde investigation reveals that convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout is currently under contract by the US military for the supply and transport "material" to coalition forces. Bout, subject to an international arrest warrant, specialized in the sale of former Soviet block military stocks to warring countries under embargo, recently including Liberia and Afghanistan.

Rebuilding Aid Unspent, Tapped to Pay Expenses (April 30, 2004)

The US government has spent $1 billion on Iraqi projects out of the $18.4 billion appropriated for the reconstruction of Iraq since October 2003. Considering that over $300 million dollars have been shifted to the Coalition Provisional Authority's administrative and security expenses, one wonders how committed Washington is to Iraq's reconstruction. (Washington Post)

10 US Contractors in Iraq Penalized (April 26, 2004)

This Associated Press investigation reveals that the US government awarded lucrative Iraqi reconstruction contracts to companies charged with bid rigging, fraud, delivery of faulty military parts and environmental damage since 2000. What does this say about the Bush administration's ethical conduct?

Pentagon Warns British Firms (March 27, 2004)

The Pentagon issued a directive warning British companies to award a minimum ten percent of subcontracts to US firms operating in Iraq. Engineering firm AMEC, the first British company tendered a primary reconstruction contract in Iraq, successfully obtained the deal after teaming up with US giant Fluor. (Guardian)

Sweetheart Deal for Iraq Contract (March 27, 2004)

The Inspector General for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) condemned the agency for tendering BearingPoint Inc. a $240 million government contract. The Inspector General accused USAID of providing BearingPoint an unfair "competitive advantage" by awarding a contract to the same company that wrote the contract specifications and requirements. (Knight Ridder)

Downsizing Saddam's Odious Debt (March 2, 2004)

Middle East Report challenges the White House commitment empowering Iraqis "to build a peaceful, prosperous and democratic nation," arguing that the US should unconditionally write-off loans and reparations claims on Iraq accumulated by the Hussein regime, enabling Iraq's future growth and prosperity.

Iraq Donors Commit About $1billion to Iraq Funds (February 29, 2004)

The UN and the World Bank will administer two trusts funds dedicated to the reconstruction of Iraq, allaying objections by Russia and France that administration of contributions should be the responsibility of the UN, not the US and the UK. (Reuters)

Iraqi Experts Tossed With The Water (February 27, 2004)

The Washington Post reports that delays in rehabilitating and reconstructing Iraq's core infrastructure are due to the unwillingness of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority to allow Iraqi workers, formerly employed by the Saddam Hussein government, to participate in the process. What does this say about the White House commitment to include Iraqi's in the rebuilding of their country?

Britain Now Enters a Coalition in Contracts (February 20, 2004)

With British-based corporations yet to benefit from lucrative reconstruction contracts in Iraq, UK giant AMEC submitted a joint bid with Fluor, a US firm with close links to the Republican Party, in an effort to secure a $3.8 billion reconstruction contract. What does this say about the US handling of Iraq's reconstruction? (Inter Press Service)

Start-Up Company With Connections (February 15, 2004)

An Iraqi firm with direct ties to Ahmed Chalabi, member of the Iraqi Governing Council and Pentagon favorite for Iraq's next leader, received a $327 million contract to supply arms and equipment to the Iraqi armed forces. What does this say about the US handling of reconstruction contract disbursements? (Newsday)

Occupation, Inc (February 2, 2004)

US corporations continue to accumulate huge profits from Iraqi reconstruction contracts, claiming that their efforts improve the quality of life in Iraq. However, Iraqis see little progress, claiming they are worse off now than during the Saddam Hussein regime. How long will it take to rebuild Iraq? (Southern Exposure)

Ambitions of Empire: the Bush Administration Economic Plan for Iraq (and Beyond) (January 20, 2004)

The Bush administration contracted US consulting firm BearingPoint to "facilitate" the complete economic reconstruction of Iraq. This article rejects BearingPoint's plan as a "chicken soup of the most extreme corporate globalization policies past and present" designed to radically alter Iraq's economy and expose its resources to wholesale foreign acquisition. (LeftTurn Magazine)

Money to Rebuild Iraq Still Lost in the Pipeline (January 19, 2004)

Despite reports to the contrary, the US government pre-war assertions claimed that oil revenues from Iraq would largely fund reconstruction. However, Mr James Placke, a senior associate at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, argues: "With all the information available, it seems that those in charge chose not to know." (Straits Times)

Canadian Companies Get Crack at Iraq Contracts (January 13, 2004)

Originally excluded by the US government to bid on primary reconstruction contracts in Iraq, Canada is now on the list of countries eligible for the second phase of primary contracts. Canada's contributions include C$300M to reconstruction in Iraq. (Globe and Mail)

The Reconstruction's Bottom-Line (January 2004)

With skyrocketing unemployment, meager standards of living, and continued erosion of Iraq's core infrastructure, US corporations are reaping huge rewards. They continue to have unfettered access and minimal competition from international competitors. Focus on the Global South argues: "The reconstruction [of Iraq] is less about reconstruction than about making the most money possible."

Risky Business in Iraq (January 5, 2004)

Naomi Klein comments on the mood at trade shows on the business opportunity potential in post-war Iraq. According to one conventioneer, "the best time to invest is when there is still blood on the ground." (The Nation)


Contracts For Reconstruction in Iraq

Link to a site that provides a list of all contracts awarded for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Reconstructing States - A Guide to Nation Building (December, 2003)

A Rand Corporation study of past US nation-building efforts assesses the costs, risks and prospect of success of the reconstruction operation in Iraq. The study advocates a multilateral approach in Iraq, under certain conditions. (Monde Diplomatique)

It's Greed, Not Ideology, that Rules the White House (December 23, 2003)

The US argues that the "Iraqi people should not be saddled with the debt of a brutal regime." At the same time, it opposes all attempts of debt cancellation for Argentina, whose similarly cruel dictators accumulated an enormous debt with the complicity of Henry Kissinger. Naomi Klein contends that only the profits US corporations expect from Iraq's reconstruction can explain this discrepancy. (Guardian)

Operation Renounce War Booty (December 23, 2003)

Washington recently announced that only firms from coalition countries could bid on reconstruction contracts for Iraq. Michael Renner argues that European governments opposed to the war should renounce such war profiteering and pursue rights-based policies in Iraq and beyond. Only strong public pressure, though, can produce such an uncharacteristic result.

Patriots and Profits (December 16, 2003)

Paul Krugman points out that Halliburton, Bechtel and other major contractors in Iraq have not sufficiently repaired schools and other structures. Krugman worries that contractors' close ties to US government officials prevents censure of their shoddy work. (New York Times)

Bush Tries to Quell Halliburton Uproar (December 13, 2003)

A Pentagon audit of Halliburton shows that the oil company charge has charged up to $61 million in excess pricing for oil deliveries in Iraq. Defense officials in the US administration attempt to minimize the overcharges as "stupid mistakes," but they do not eliminate suspicions that Halliburton engages in "war-profiteering." (Los Angeles Times)

A Deliberate Debacle (December 12, 2003)

US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz presses war critics for "international cooperation in Iraq and in future efforts." Paul Krugman sees a disturbing groundwork for future pre-emptive strikes. Krugman claims that top Washington neoconservatives view Iraq as a test for future regime changes. (New York Times)

US Decision on Iraq Contracts Irritates Excluded War Critics (December 11, 2003)

Germany, France, Russia and Canada expressed astonishment at the US government's decision to prevent countries that opposed the Iraq war from bidding on reconstruction contracts. "If you destroy my sand castle, I'll destroy yours," scoffed a German political analyst. "It's the kindergarten approach to transatlantic relations." (Washington Post)

High Payments to Halliburton for Fuel in Iraq (December 10, 2003)

According to documents from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Halliburton seems to make a hefty profit on the sale of Iraqi oil to the US. A Halliburton spokesperson downplays the wide profit margin, stating that "it is expensive to purchase, ship, and deliver fuel into a wartime situation." (New York Times)

Pentagon Bars Three Nations From Iraq Bids (December 10, 2003)

Funds for the reconstruction and development of Iraq will pay for 26 contracts in the electricity, oil and water sectors, but the Pentagon will not permit French, Russian and German firms to take part. One US official offered the explanation that "this is [US] taxpayers' money, and so we have to go with those who have pitched in [to the war effort] already." (New York Times)

Baker Takes the Loaf: President's Business Partner Slices Up Iraq (December 9, 2003)

The law firm headed by former US Secretary of State James Baker will "restructure" Iraq's debts. Writing in ZNet, Greg Palast points out that the US-influenced Iraqi Governing Council made the appointment, thereby preventing the US Congress from demanding accountability.

Iraq Delays Hand Cheney's Halliburton a Billion Dollars (December 7, 2003)

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) should have opened engineering contracts to competitive bids by the end of August 2003. Instead, repeated delays allowed Halliburton to receive $1 billion worth of reconstruction work. UK contractors angered by the uncompetitive procedures demand a "level playing field," reports the Independent.

Funds for Iraq Falling Short of Pledges, Figures Show (December 7, 2003)

According to the World Bank, total figures from the October 2003 donors conference for Iraq reconstruction reach $685 million, not $3 billion as donor organizers had claimed. Many donor nations are reluctant to give grants to the US-led occupation and choose instead to pledge aid to a forthcoming independent donor fund. (New York Times)

Bring Halliburton Home (November 24, 2003)

"Bring the troops home" is the common refrain by activists against the US/UK occupation of Iraq. But Naomi Klein argues that Iraq will not enjoy true self-determination until the more-entrenched economic colonialism ends. (The Nation)

Billions Missing from US-Controlled Development Fund (November 15, 2003)

The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has been unable to account for billions of dollars transferred by the UN to the Development Fund for Iraq. Furthermore, the CPA has stymied the work of the International Advisory Monitoring Board (IAMB) created to provide transparency. By circumventing accountability in spending, the CPA "operates outside its mandate," says Christian Aid. (Yellow Times)

Money Transferred to Iraqi Fund without UN Approval (November 11, 2003)

The CPA has not accounted for a $1 billion transfer from the UN escrow account to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) in June. Nonetheless, the UN has transferred a second billion in October without explicit Security Council approval. The UN Secretariat justifies the move by arguing that all Oil-for-Food money will be transferred anyway to the DFI after the Programme ends on November 21, 2003. (Middle East Online)

United Nations and World Bank "Joint Iraq Needs Assessment" (October 2003)

The purpose of this assessment is to inform the Donor Conference in Madrid of the priorities for reconstruction in each sector, focusing on both urgent and medium-term needs.

Projected Iraq Oil Costs Up Sharply (October 30, 2003)

The Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root Services faces questions about its exploration and survey work in Iraq. Statements by Bush administration officials show that the subsidiary may seek to develop new oil fields. "Mission creep is occurring in Iraq," says a US Congressman. (Boston Globe)

Looting Iraq by Executive Order (October 25, 2003)

Many critics focus solely on the missing billions of dollars from the Development Fund for Iraq, but ZNet sees the problem as one component in a sinister pattern. On the first day of the Fund's existence, US President George Bush issued an Executive Order that seems to formalize "crony capitalism" in Iraq by substantially protecting US oil corporations.

Iraq Rebuilding Cash 'Goes Missing' (October 23, 2003)

According to Christian Aid, the Coalition Provisional Authority has accounted for only one fifth of Iraq reconstruction funds. The Coalition must publicize its accounts or face overwhelming suspicion that US firms have pocketed the missing billions. (Scotsman)

US to Cede Part of Control Over Aid to Iraq (October 20, 2003)

The World Bank and the UN will head an agency to manage international aid for the reconstruction of Iraq. Coalition Provisional Authority leader Paul Bremer persuaded the White House to accept this move, saying "we have to move off our principled opposition to the international community being in charge." (New York Times)

Baghdad's Future on Table in Madrid (October 2003)

This article from Foreign Policy in Focus provides critical commentary of US objectives for the Madrid donor's conference for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Questions Are Raised on Awarding of Contracts in Iraq (October 4, 2003)

Members of the Iraqi Governing Council expressed grave concern over the $1.2 billion cost of police training in Iraq and the list of sub-contractors approved by Bechtel. "There is no transparency," complained one member, "and something has to be done about it." (New York Times)

Assessments Say Iraq Needs $55 Billion for Rebuilding (October 2, 2003)

Top aides in the Bush administration had previously argued that revenue from the Iraq oil industry would make the reconstruction of the country virtually self-funding. Unsurprisingly, potential donor nations balk at the high price tag now presented by the administration. (New York Times)

Cronies Reap Iraqi Contracts (October 1, 2003)

Former US President Harry Truman detested war profiteering and insisted that Europeans had control over the post-World War II Marshall Plan. Paul Krugman does not see the same benevolent spirit after the war in Iraq. He cites examples of US-endorsed cronyism in the country's telecommunications and electricity. (International Herald Tribune)

We Don't Want Oligarchs in Iraq (September 30, 2003)

The Wall Street Journal turns a critical eye on privatization plans considered by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) for the reconstruction of Iraq. It also urges Paul Bremer, Chief Administrator of the CPA, to "avoid decisions that only a legitimate government can make acceptable to the Iraqi population."

America Puts Iraq up for Sale (September 22, 2003)

The US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council announced that it would open all sectors, excluding oil, to foreign investment. The Independent reports that the decision shows "all the hallmarks of Washington's ascendant neoconservative lobby, complete with tax cuts and trade tariff rollbacks."

'Oil War' Questions Surround Cheney Energy Group (September 12, 2003)

The investigative arm of the US Congress released its findings on the activities of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force. Cheney had fought to prevent disclosure of the group's activities, prompting intense speculation about the range of options considered for the acquisition of Iraqi oil. (Inter Press Service)

Gaidar Invited to Shock, Awe Iraq (September 9, 2003)

The US/UK occupation forces have invited Yegor Gaidar, the architect of post-Soviet Union "shock therapy," to craft an economic recovery plan for post-war Iraq. The invitation came after the announcement to privatize Iraq's oil industry, prompting one analyst to say, "It would be fantastic if [Gaidar] were handed the opportunity to deal with the same [oil sector] giveaway twice in one lifetime." (Moscow Times)

International Consortium to Run Iraq Bank (August 29, 2003)

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. will lead the international consortium of financial institutions running the new Iraqi trade bank. The trade bank will replace the UN Oil-for-Food Program, in helping the new government to "handle Iraq's major purchases abroad." (Associated Press)

Who Profits from Erasing Iraq's Debt? (August 15, 2003)

Halliburton and other companies will reap enormous financial benefits if the US government decides to forgive Iraq's debt, according to the UN Observer and International Report. Countries that opposed the war, including France and Germany, stand to lose out if the debt cancellation proceeds.

Rivals Say Halliburton Dominates Iraq Oil Work (August 8, 2003)

The construction giant Bechtel, one of the main bidders for the rebuilding of Iraq's oil industry, has dropped out of the race amid concerns that the process favors US Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton. Bechtel now hopes to bypass Washington by applying directly to the Iraqi oil ministry. (New York Times)

Iraq's Post-Conflict Reconstruction (July 17, 2003)

The Center for Strategic & International Studies sent a team of post-conflict reconstruction experts to Iraq, on the request of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for an informal evaluation of US-led efforts to rebuild.

The Corporate Invasion of Iraq (July-August, 2003)

This article argues that the US does not intend to truly "reconstruct" Iraq as it proclaims. Instead, Washington plans to deconstruct Iraqi in the interests of big businesses that have continually backed the neo-conservative Bush regime. (International Socialist Review)

And Now for the Really Big Guns (June 29, 2003)

In the post-war period, the US-led corporate invasion of Iraq has begun. Bechtel, the US construction giant, now leads the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure with the impudence of a 21st Century East India Company. Despite disintegrating security, Washington maneuvers these corporations into Iraq in the name of free enterprise. (Observer)

Aid Is Tied to US Pledges on Oil Funds (June 26, 2003)

Germany, France and other potential donors to Iraq demand that the US provide greater accountability concerning its plans for Iraq's oil revenue. The countries also seek a guarantee of more opportunities for foreign companies before they will help fund Iraq's reconstruction. (Washington Post)

Inexperienced Hands Guide Iraq Rebuilding (June 25, 2003)

The Washington Post asserts that the critical task of postwar rebuilding and governance of Iraqi cities remains in the hands of US military personnel. Almost all of these personnel lack expertise in government administration and familiarity with the Arab world.

Nation Builders for Hire (June 22, 2003)

Representative Henry Waxman suggests that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chairmanship of Halliburton gave its subsidiary company, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) priority to an Iraqi oil-fields contract. The reality proves far subtler. The close relationship between KBR and the Pentagon allowed it to assign the contract to itself! (New York Times)

Halliburton, Principal Beneficiary of Iraq's Reconstruction (June 20, 2003)

Halliburton has obtained more than $600 million in government contracts. This accounts for a large sum of the $2.4 billion approved by Congress for reconstruction and humanitarian aid in Iraq. Most of these contracts are awarded through non-transparent, unpublicized and non-contested means, causing concern among leading congressional Democrats. (Le Monde)

Iraq Donor Conference Planned for September (June 5, 2003)

The occupying power plans to finance reconstruction of Iraq by using the country's oil revenues and pressing for substantial debt relief. The US plans to further avoid paying for the reconstruction by organizing an international donor conference in September. (Reuters)

Representative Henry Waxman Letter (May 29, 2003)

In this letter, congressional representative Henry Waxman accuses the Pentagon of issuing secret, no-bid contracts to Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.

Privatizing Iraq (May 28, 2003)

A Washington report lays out the groundwork for potential contractors and outlines the steps that will launch Iraq as a test case for exporting neoliberal economic models to the Middle East. The Bush administration eager to furnish Iraq as a shining new example of the "Washington consensus." (In These Times)

It's Not So Funny Any More DubyaCo.(May 28, 2003)

The US has assured the world that Iraqi oil will be flowing soon, but has not set any dates for when electricity, water or the rule of law will be restored through out the country. This article critically examines current US priorities in Iraq, and looks at past US interests in Iraqi oil. (Counterpunch)

US Plans Credit System for Sale of Goods to Iraq (May 27, 2003)

L. Paul Bremer the head of the occupation in Iraq announced that within weeks the Central Bank of Iraq and some private banks will provide credits for exports to Iraq. The total amount is still under discussion but it would mainly benefit US-UK companies. (New York Times)

US Contracts Come Under Scrutiny (May 23, 2003)

Two offical watch dogs, the USAid's office of the inspector general (OIG) and the General Accounting Office (GAO), are due to examine contracts that have been handed out to rebuild Iraq. They will investigate whether proper procedures were followed, including allegations that foreign firms were not allowed to bid for contracts. (Guardian)

Companies From All Over Seek a Piece of Action Rebuilding Iraq (May 21, 2003)

A big reconstruction program for Iraq is being authorized by the US. Governments and companies from around the world are campaigning in Washington to win reconstruction contracts in Iraq. (New York Times)

India Pushes For Iraq Deals (May 20, 2003)

Bechtel one of the main contractors in rebuilding Iraq is holding meetings in London and Kuwait to give out sub contracts. The Confederation of Indian Industry has set out a web site to assist Indian companies in getting some of the contracts. (BBC)

War Profiteering And Halliburton (May 20, 2003)

In an interview in Between The Lines, Charlie Cray from Citizen Works answers questions on the close connections between big business and Washington. For example, Vice President Dick Cheney served as Halliburton's CEO, a company that was awarded a no-bid contract in Iraq to operate oil fields.

Bechtel And Blood For Water: War As An Excuse For Enlarging Corporate Rule (May 12, 2003)

One of the victors in the war on Iraq is the Bechtel Group that received multi million dollar contracts to rebuild the country. Multinational companies bring change to Iraq, "Saddam's dictatorship is being replaced" by corporate dictatorship. (ZNet)

Halliburton Unit's Bill for Iraq Work Mounts (May 9, 2003)

Halliburton's KBR, closely linked to Vice President Dick Cheney, was given exclusive contracts in Iraq, including renovating presidential palace to be used by the US. The company was also given the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program that will "set up, cater to and care for the Iraq-based officials and it has no cost ceiling." (Los Angeles Times)

Consulting and Policy Overlap (May 7, 2003)

The disclosures in recently released board agendas and investment documents shows that Richard N. Perle's private consulting and investment interests overlap with his role on the board that advises the secretary of Defense. (Los Angeles Times)

Massachusetts Firm Wins Contract for Iraq's Health System (May 1, 2003)

A contract to improve Iraq's public health system was awarded to a research and consulting firm, Abt Associates Inc, from Massachusetts. The company has long advised the government on social and health policy. (Washington Post)

Free Marketeers Have a Plan For Iraq (April 30, 2003)

President George W. Bush is appointing former private sector executives to run Iraq and will probably impose dubious free market policies to assist US companies. The administration is reportedly planning to remodel the petroleum industry to function more like a US oil corporation. (Inter Press Service)

Fury at Agriculture Post For US Businessman (April 28, 2003)

The US has appointed Dan Amstutz to be in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq. Oxfam is very critical about having Amstutz in charge and compares it to putting Saddam Hussein "in the chair of a human rights commission." (Guardian)

Reimposing the Dollar Hegemony (April 26-May 9, 2003)

Sukumar Muralidharan analyzes the economic decisions behind the US plans for the occupation of Iraq and the reconstruction of its decimated infrastructure, and suggests that "the reassertion of the dollar hegemony is precisely what the invasion of Iraq is all about." (Frontline (India))

The World's at Bechtel's Beck and Call (April 20, 2003)

"Bechtel's tentacles extend deep into the corridors of power," says this Independent article of the company slated to rebuild postwar Iraq for a hefty profit. Bechtel has a reputation for fierce secrecy and exorbitant fees, but that hasn't stopped the company from winning lucrative contracts around the world.

Bechtel Has Ties in Washington, and to Iraq (April 18, 2003)

Bechtel Group won the contract to rebuild Iraq without open competitive bidding. The company is a large political contributor to the Republican Party and has had close ties with the government for several decades. (New York Times)

Bechtel Wins Contract Prize (April 18, 2003)

Bechtel Group, an engineering firm with close ties to the Bush administration, has won the main contract for the reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure. The 18-month contract is worth approximately $680 million. (Guardian)

Pentagon Iraq Contractor Has History Of Supporting Terrorist Regimes (April 16, 2003)

Halliburton and its KBR subsidiary received Iraqi oil field contracts without competitive bidding. The company has done business with some of the world's most oppressive governments and dictators, for example in Azerbaijan and Indonesia. (Antiwar)

Spoils of War (April 11, 2003)

Former Secretary of State George Schultz is on the board of directors for the Bechtel Group. It is the largest contractor in the US and is competing for contracts to rebuild Iraq. (New York Times)

Iraq Bidder's Apartheid Past (April 11, 2003)

Fluor Corporation, a candidate for massive reconstruction contracts in postwar Iraq, faces a lawsuit claiming it exploited workers in South Africa during apartheid. (Observer)

Details Given on Contract Halliburton Was Awarded (April 11, 2003)

According to a letter from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Pentagon contract given without competition to a Halliburton subsidiary to fight oil fires in Iraq is worth as much as $7 billion over two years. Two members of Congress have asked the General Accounting Office to investigate how the Bush administration is awarding contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq. (New York Times)

The Future of Iraq's Oil (April 11, 2003)

The lead editorial of the New York Times expresses concern about efforts to manipulate Iraq's oil for the benefit of US oil companies "rather than the benefit of the Iraqi people," though it stops short of naming the "interested parties" who might use pressure to gain long-range contracts and attempt to break the power of OPEC.

Rumsfeld's Old Flame (April 10, 2003)

This Tom Paine article tells the "sordid little tale" of how US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld courted Saddam Hussein in the 1980s on behalf of Bechtel Corporation to build a pipeline to Jordan. Saddam's decision to go with better pipeline deals from Turkey and Saudi Arabia "signaled the end of US-Iraqi oil diplomacy."

Lawmakers Seek Halliburton Probe (April 9, 2003)

Two US congressmen are calling on the General Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate how Vice President Cheney's former company landed a multi-million dollar defense contract in Iraq. The GAO has documented "questionable" practices by Halliburton in the past. (Los Angeles Times)

Dyncorp Rent-a-Cops May Head to Post-Saddam Iraq (April 9, 2003)

With the Pentagon reportedly seeking peacekeepers more "corporate and efficient" than the UN can provide in postwar Iraq, US-based Dyncorp is getting ready to step in. Dyncorp security forces have a record of human rights violations and fraud in Bosnia, and have been sued for indiscriminate chemical spraying in Colombia. (CorpWatch)

Australian Firms Eye Spoils of War in Post-Saddam Era (April 7, 2003)

Australian companies are lining up in anticipation for post-war construction contracts in Iraq. Critics charge that the US will reward Australia with business contracts only if Canberra pushes for a diminished UN role in reconstruction efforts. (Inter Press Service)

Halliburton Misses $600 Million Iraq Contract (March 31, 2003)

Halliburton, invited by USAID to bid for a $600 million contract to rebuild Iraq's basic infrastructure, withdrew its bid, either because the bid was uncompetitive or because of unfavorable publicity. (Guardian)

Britain and US at Odds Over Port Rebuilding Project (March 28, 2003)

Tensions are rising amongst British companies over rebuilding post-war Iraq because their US counterparts appear to be getting preferential treatment in receiving contracts. (Independent)

Unfinished Business (March 28, 2003)

Richard Perle's resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board raises questions about US economic involvement in postwar Iraq. According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, at least 10 of the 30 members of the Defense Policy Board are executives or lobbyists with companies who have contracts with the US Defense Department and other government agencies. (Guardian)

Which Companies Will Put Iraq Back Together? (March 23, 2003)

The Bush administration has added to the profound international divisions surrounding the US war against Iraq by deciding to invite only American companies to bid on contracts for the "rebuilding" of Iraq. Several of the companies that have been invited to bid have important connections to the Bush administration, the Republican Party, and the Pentagon. (New York Times)

US Business to Get Lion's Share of Rebuilding (March 18, 2003)

In the plan to rebuild Iraq, multilateral organizations are being sidelined while the contracts have gone to private US corporations such as Halliburton Company, previously headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. (International Herald Tribune)

US "Awarding Contracts" for Iraq (March 10, 2003)

The US Agency for International Development has already begun to send out requests for proposals from companies anxious to gain contracts worth up to $900 million for reconstruction activities in post-war Iraq. (BBC)

Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus on Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein (March 2003)

This report, by the Institute of Policy Studies, investigates the "revolving door" between the Bechtel Group and the Reagan administration that drove US policy towards Iraq in the 1980s. The authors argue that many of the same actors are back today, justifying military action against Iraq and waiting to reap the benefits of post-war reconstruction.