Utterances.net edited by Jalel Harchaoui.
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Private entities have an incentive to have America be and remain at war
Cheney: A Passion for War Logistics
by Jalel Harchaoui.
In 1992, George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney privatized parts of the Pentagon. The contribution helped set up a successful business model.
Cheney: A Passion for War Logistics

V.-President Cheney encourages U.S. troops.

Some private entities profit heavily from war. Those are not marginal but massive corporations—the defense industry in general. Halliburton, Boeing, Blackwater (Academi, Xe Services); etc.

Those private entities have an interest in preparing for war, and expanding their businesses in wartime. A brand-new economic interest that has been emerging: the “contracting out” to a whole “support” industry. In other words, contractors that supply food, transportation, logistics, security, mercenaries, private spies, etc.

Those feature a difference compared to, say, Lockheed-Martin, which makes expensive, sophisticated aircraft. F-22s can sit in the hangar for years, or just be used for exercises. The F-22 is never used in action in wars like Iraq or Afghanistan. Consequently, the profit is made whether America is at war or not.

In contrast, the corporations that supply the beans and the bullets get their money only if a war is going on. Said differently, those private entities have an incentive to have America be at war, if at all possible. Quagmires are the only times when those corporations make the revenue they now have grown accustomed to. The below is how it started.

In 1992, under George H.W. Bush, the Secretary of Defense was Dick Cheney. The latter during his last year at the Pentagon he came up with a question for the White House. Would it be a good idea for the people of America to privatize parts of the Pentagon? Those parts would include: food preparation, transportation, cleaning, washing, oil-well cementing, etc. Dick Cheney took it upon himself to pick a company capable of acting as a neutral consultant and carrying out that study in the name of the taxpayer. He awarded the investigation-and-evaluation assignment to Halliburton. The Pentagon pays Halliburton several million dollars for that study. Halliburton comes back a few months later with an impartial conclusion. Namely, It would be indeed beneficial to the American taxpayer for Washington to privatize all those components of the military, and hand them over to a company like, say, Halliburton.

Cheney finishes his term as Secretary of Defense on 20-Jan-93. On 11-Aug-95, Halliburton picks Cheney as chairman, CEO and president. On 25-Jul-00, Cheney resigns so as to run as Vice-President.

As it happened, Cheney merely did an okay job during that period; nothing stellar. In fact, during his tenure, Halliburton, owing to lack of due diligence, acquired a smaller company with humongous asbestos liabilities. Because of those liabilities, Halliburton faced bankruptcy in a very serious fashion in the early 2000s (WSJ, 29-Jan-04). Profits from Washington’s recent wars of aggression saved Halliburton.

Thanks to the Iraq war (Clinton bombed the country in Dec. 1998, but the invasion was officially launched only in Mar. 2003), Halliburton has been making recording-setting profits. Most of the contracts were granted on a no-bid basis by the Washington (i.e., bid not compared with any competitors; no independent check on the price charged to the taxpayer). It has been the Pentagon’s largest contractor in Iraq, hoarding over $20bn in revenue in just the first four years of the quagmire. (The overall number of private-contractor employees in Iraq was greater than the number of U.S. troops there.)

On 12-Mar-07, Halliburton’s new CEO David Lesar announced, “At this point in time, we clearly see there are greater opportunities in the eastern hemisphere than the western hemisphere.” The company made sure it moved its headquarters from Texas to the United Arab Emirates.

The relationship between Halliburton and Dick Cheney remained warm and friendly even after the latter left the White House in Jan. 2009. Indeed, in Dec. 2010, Halliburton paid the Nigeria government $32.5mm fine (WSJ, 21-Dec-10) so that corruption charges in relation to a natural-gas concession Cheney obtained from Nigerian officials in the 1990s be dropped and forgotten about. Nigeria took the settlement money.

~ Jalel Harchaoui.