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Policing Afghanistan: Obama's New Strategy
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 23rd, 2009
A new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be unveiled by President Barack Obama this week. It plans to ramp up the training of the Afghan army and police at a cost of some $2 billion a year. Private contractor DynCorp is already lining up to bid for some of the lucrative contracts. This article provides an overview of key reports assessing the training of the Afghan police, and DynCorp's role, to date.

US/AFGHANISTAN: Unknown Afghanistan
by Pratap
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.

US: Is the Next Defense Budget a Stimulus Package? Why the Pentagon Can't Put America Back to Work
by Frida
March 12th, 2009
At the end of February, the defense industry received its own special stimulus package -- news of the dollars available for the Pentagon budget in 2010; and at nearly $700 billion (when all the bits and pieces are added in), it's almost as big as the Obama economic package and sure to be a lot less effective.

UGANDA/IRAQ: Why 10,000 Ugandans are eagerly serving in Iraq
by Max DelanyChristian 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.

GEO Group, Inc.: Despite a Crashing Economy, Private Prison Firm Turns a Handsome Profit
by Erin RosaSpecial to CorpWatch
March 1st, 2009
While the nation’s economy flounders, business is booming for The GEO Group Inc., a private prison firm paid millions by the U.S. government. Behind the financial success and expansion of the for-profit security company, there are increasing charges of negligence, civil rights violations, abuse and even death.

US: 70 Youths Sue Former Judges in Detention Kickback Case
by Ian UrbinaNew 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.

MEXICO: U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
by James C. McKinley, Jr.New York Times
February 25th, 2009
Phoenix-based gun dealer George Iknadosian of X-Calibur Guns will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would go to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

Inheriting Halliburton's Army: What Will Obama Do With KBR?
by Pratap
February 22nd, 2009
President Obama will almost certainly touch down in Baghdad and Kabul in Air Force One sometime in the coming year to meet his counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he will just as certainly pay a visit to a U.S. military base or two. Should he stay to eat with the troops, he will no less certainly choose from a menu prepared by migrant Asian workers under contract to Houston-based KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.

US: Company Gets Pentagon Contract Despite Death Inquiries
by Associated PressNew York Times
February 7th, 2009
Private military contractor KBR has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work even though it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two American soldiers in Iraq.

Book Release: "Halliburton's Army: How A Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized The Way America Makes War"
by Pratap ChatterjeeNation Books
February 3rd, 2009
In "HALLIBURTON’S ARMY: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War" (Nation Books; February 9, 2009; $26.95), muckraking journalist Pratap Chatterjee conducts a highly detailed investigation into Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR’s activities in Kuwait and Iraq, uncovering much new information about its questionable practices and extraordinary profits.

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