Combating War Profiteering

07.25.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The U.S. Senate is placing increased emphasis on exposing corruption and profiteering in military contracting in Iraq.

Last week, Sen. James Webb (D-VA) introduced a bill with twenty co-sponsors that would establish a Commission on Wartime Contracting to investigate fraud and abuse in government contracts, including intelligence contracts, in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

“We are outsourcing this war in ways we’ve never seen,” said Sen. Webb. “Defrauding the government of millions of taxpayer dollars should not be considered ‘the cost of doing business’.”

There are now more contractors (180,000) than military personnel (156, 247) in Iraq, according to a July 18 news release from Sen. Webb. A list of companies contracted in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom does not exist, it said. Nor has information on how much the government is paying contractors been made available.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on “war profiteering,” the record of which has just been published. See “Combating War Profiteering: Are We Doing Enough to Investigate and Prosecute Contracting Fraud and Abuse in Iraq?,” March 20, 2007.