|US: Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for U.S. Government|
by CHRISTOPHER DREW and JOHN MARKOFF, New York Times
May 30th, 2009
The Obama administration’s push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts. Nearly all of the largest military companies — including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.
|US: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out|
by Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.
|IRAQ: Ex-Blackwater Workers May Return to Iraq Jobs|
by Rod Nordland, New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Late last month Blackwater Worldwide lost its billion-dollar contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq, but by next month many of its private security guards will be back on the job here. The same individuals will just be wearing new uniforms, working for Triple Canopy, the firm that won the State Department’s new contract.
|US: Pentagon Weighs Cuts and Revisions of Weapons|
by Christopher Drew, New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
U.S. defense executives and consultants are worried about the sweeping changes in military programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday. Weapons systems like missile defense are likely to endure deep cuts.
|CHINA: Banks Face Big Losses From Bets on Chinese Realty|
by David Barboza , New York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Evergrande Real Estate Group, now mired in debt, has become a symbol of China’s go-go era of investing, when international bankers, private equity deal makers and hedge fund managers from Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others rushed here hoping to cash in on the world’s biggest building boom.
|US/AFGHANISTAN: Unknown Afghanistan|
by Pratap Chatterjee, TomDispatch.com
March 17th, 2009
Want a billion dollars in development aid? If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak. This piece take a look at the lack of reconstruction aid in areas like Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
|CHILE: Chilean Town Withers in Free Market for Water|
by Alexei Barrionuevo, New York Times
March 15th, 2009
Nowhere is the system for buying and selling water more permissive than in Chile, where water rights are private property, not a public resource, and can be traded like commodities with little government oversight or safeguards for the environment. The small town of Quillaga is being swallowed up in the country’s intensifying water wars.
|UGANDA/IRAQ: Why 10,000 Ugandans are eagerly serving in Iraq|
by Max Delany, Christian Science Monitor
March 6th, 2009
Hired out to multibillion-dollar companies for hundreds of dollars a month, 10,000 Ugandans risk their lives seeking fortunes protecting US Army bases, airports, and oil firms in Iraq for as little as $600 per month. Many are looking to go to Afghanistan as the Obama administration increases contracts there.
|US: Food Problems Elude Private Inspectors|
by Michael Moss and Andrew Martin, New York Times
March 5th, 2009
When food industry giants like Kellogg want to ensure that American consumers are being protected from contaminated products, they rely on private inspectors. With government inspectors overwhelmed by the task of guarding the nation’s food supply, the job of monitoring food plants has in large part fallen to an army of private auditors, and problems are rife.
|US: 70 Youths Sue Former Judges in Detention Kickback Case|
by Ian Urbina, New York Times
February 26th, 2009
More than 70 juveniles and their families filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against two former judges who pleaded guilty this month in a scheme that involved their taking kickbacks to put young offenders in privately run detention centers. The two privately operated centers are run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.
|US/AFGHANISTAN: Short-staffed USAID tries to keep pace |
by Ken Dilanian, USA Today
February 1st, 2009
Like other government functions, U.S. foreign aid and reconstruction largely has been privatized. USAID now turns to contractors to fulfill its basic mission of fighting poverty and promoting democracy. CorpWatch's 2006 "Afghanistan, Inc" documented problems with Chemonics and other contractors operating in Afghanistan.
|US: Plea by Blackwater Guard Helps Indict Others|
by GINGER THOMPSON and JAMES RISEN, New York Times
December 9th, 2008
On Monday, the Justice Department unsealed its case against five Blackwater private security guards, built largely around testimony from a sixth guard about the 2007 shootings that left 17 unsuspecting Iraqi civilians dead at a busy Baghdad traffic circle.
|US/IRAQ: Indiana guardsmen sue defense contractor KBR|
by Farah Stockman, Boston Globe
December 4th, 2008
Sixteen Indiana national guardsmen filed a lawsuit yesterday against military contractor KBR. The complaint alleges that several reservists contracted respiratory system tumors and skin rashes after guarding reconstruction work at the Qarmat Ali treatment plant, strewn with the toxin chromium dichromate.
|CANADA/IRAQ: Drill, Garner, Drill|
by Anthony Fenton, Mother Jones
November 24th, 2008
In the history of the Iraq War, one name is perhaps synonymous with the collapse of the Bush administration's hopes for a post-Saddam world: Retired Lt. General Jay M. Garner, who served as the first post-war administrator. This year, he and a small group of former US military leaders, officials, and lobbyists have quietly used their Kurdistan connections to help Canadian companies access some of the region's richest oil fields.
|US: Bank of New York Mellon Will Oversee Bailout Fund|
by Eric Dash, New York Times
October 15th, 2008
The Bank of New York Mellon was named the master custodian firm overseeing the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout fund. It will hold and track the distressed assets that the government will buy as well as run and report on the auctions used to buy the assets. Government officials called it the “prime contractor of the purchase program.”
|IRAQ: Iraq Case Sheds Light On Secret Contractors|
by Siobhan Gorman and August Cole, Wall Street Journal
July 17th, 2008
Court documents and interviews with whistleblowers shed light on persistent problems in the operations of private military and security company MVM, Inc., a top provider of secret security to U.S. intelligence agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
|US: Army Overseer Tells of Ouster Over KBR Stir|
by James Risen, New York Times
June 17th, 2008
Charles M. Smith, the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war, says he was ousted for refusing to approve payment for more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR. The Pentagon has recently awarded KBR part of a 10-year, $150 billion contract in Iraq.
|UGANDA: Privatization of Seeds Moving Apace|
by Aileen Kwa, IPS
February 21st, 2008
The Ugandan parliament will soon have a hearing on the draft Plant Variety Protection Bill, approved by the cabinet early last year. According to an inside government source, seeds companies including Monsanto have been lobbying for such intellectual property protection.