Tuesday, February 15, 2005
The War That Would Pay For Itself: President Bush on Monday urged Congress to approve quickly his request for $82 billion to cover the costs of military operations in
Included in the request is $74.9 billion for the Defense Department. About $5 billion is for reorganizing Army divisions and brigades and $5.7 billion for training and equipping Iraqi military and police, according to a federal official familiar with the request.
Last week, Bush submitted an overall $2.5 trillion budget for fiscal 2006. That document called for restraining spending across a wide swath of government programs from popular farm subsidies to poor people's health programs. Spending on the military, the biggest part of discretionary spending, would rise by 4.8 percent in 2006 to $419.3 billion.
The money requested for the military did not include the additional $82 billion.
Where does the money go, part one: A government contractor defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars in
The lawyer, Alan Grayson, represents two former employees who charged in a federal lawsuit that the security firm Custer Battles LLC of Fairfax was paid approximately $15 million to provide security for civilian flights at
Lawyers representing Custer Battles have denied the charges and have argued that the case should be dismissed because the money that was allegedly stolen belonged to Iraqis, not to Americans. Grayson said that argument has the potential to turn
Where does the money go, part two:
Because the country lacked a functioning banking system, contractors and Iraqi ministry officials were paid with bills taken from a basement vault in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces that served as headquarters for the Coalition Provisional Authority, former CPA official Frank Willis said.
Officials from the CPA, which ruled
Where does the money go, part three: The Pentagon is falling short on efforts to keep elite special forces units at full strength and now is fighting back dollar by dollar, offering up to $150,000 bonuses to commandos to keep high-paying private security firms from cherry-picking the teams.
Special operations units such as the Green Berets and Navy SEALs are running slightly below their authorized strength, in part because private firms are luring away those troops for work in
Military officials seeing a drop in special-forces retention say they have little choice but to compete in the marketplace with companies like Blackwater Security Consulting and Halliburton, who advertise on their Web sites to recruit employees with
Where does the money go, part four: Soldiers, diplomats and private contractors in
But should anyone be paid $350,000 a year to work in
That's the basic labor rate for a liaison officer under the contract that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Charlotte's Zapata Engineering to help dispose of captured munitions. It's 10 times what the average soldier or member of the National Guard earns, even for full combat duty.
The Army Corps has set aside as much as $1.47 billion for explosives-demolition contracts with 10 private companies. Neither Zapata nor the Army Corps of Engineers would reveal exact salaries, but the first one-year contract the company received in September 2003 totaled $3.8 million for five management positions in
The single liaison officer cost taxpayers not just the $350,000 in salary, but $850,000 in overhead, insurance and profit costs, according to a Winston-Salem Journal analysis.
Four project managers were budgeted for a total of $2.7 million, which includes $275,000 in annual pay for each and a total of $1.6 million for overhead, insurance and profit.
Those figures do not include security, food and lodging, which were provided under separate contracts.
Is it just me or does anyone else think it may not be the best use of tax dollars to hire contractors at such inflated prices that they can afford to outbid our military to hire away their soldiers and then give the military money so they can offer the same soldiers incredible bonuses in the hopes that they won't get hired away? Hello?
Where does the money NOT go: Starting Tuesday, as fresh troops continue to cross the dusty berm from
Just to keep the above article in perspective: The war began March 20, 2003, almost two years ago. Around eight or nine thousand vehicles are still using hillbilly armor.
Oh, and we’d like some more money, part one: Sen. John Kerry called for tens of thousands of new
Kerry said he plans to file legislation to increase the size of the military by 40,000 -- 30,000 in the Army and 10,000 in the Marines -- to help support the country's efforts in
He also said the country needs to do more to help families of those serving in the military, from boosting death benefits to extending psychiatric care to veterans returning from
Oh, and we’d like some more money, part two: Many soldiers in
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, a Democrat, is proposing a measure to eliminate the "patriot penalty" and offer tax breaks up to $15,000 annually to corporations that supplement the incomes of employees called to service.
About half of all troops in
Hey, no problemo. Let’s just cut a few more social programs.