Video: U.S. troops abandon private contractors under fire in Iraq? Update: New video added

posted at 12:46 pm on September 27, 2006 by Allahpundit

Can it be? America’s bravest reduced to a Kosian “screw them”?

The article’s here; they’re running the vid tonight on World News and Nightline. Click the image to watch.

abc-convoy.jpg

There are two new polls of Iraqi opinion out today. The State Department conducted one, the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes conducted the other. The results are in sync:

wpo-iraq.jpg

There is some good news, though.

Update: Reader Lori H. says Halliburton Watch has had a longer version of this video posted for about a week. Click here and scroll down.


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Clearly this is all Bush’s fault.

Bellicose Muse on September 27, 2006 at 12:54 PM

The use of Privatized Military Firms (PMFs) has been on the rise for the last 15 years. As their role increases, so will these types of incidents.

GregH on September 27, 2006 at 1:12 PM

So, how did he get out of it and get back?
I’d be interested to hear the rest of the story.

harrison on September 27, 2006 at 1:15 PM

Harrison, I was wondering the same thing. How did this guy get back with video intact and alive? If he was fired due to a “work-related injury” isn’t there workmans comp? I don’t know why these guys left them like that if that’s what really happened. I know my husband isn’t thrilled at all with the contractors he’s had to work with but I hope he wouldn’t leave them to die.

Catie96706 on September 27, 2006 at 1:27 PM

The problem with a camera/video lens in these situations is that they only offer a tiny, tunnel vision, slice of the whole picture.

The contact takes place in a huge, and 360 degree, area of operation but we are essentially looking through a straw at the situation and drawing conclusions about the entire event based on this limited view.

I need much more before I second guess the operators on the ground.

Alden Pyle on September 27, 2006 at 1:32 PM

I am unable to view the video but based on experience and more then a passing knowledge of Army tactics I think it is more likely the troops went into an immediate action drill, to wit get out of the kill zone and evaluate the situation and then proceed to put together a plan to attack the enemy and eliminate the threat. You can not fault the troops for doing what they are trained to do. Those contractors would know that also. The notion that you stand there like John Wayne is best left for Hollywood and the movies.

LakeRuins on September 27, 2006 at 1:38 PM

The use of Privatized Military Firms (PMFs) has been on the rise for the last 15 years. As their role increases, so will these types of incidents.

GregH on September 27, 2006 at 1:12 PM

PMF remain a really bad idea: expensive and a danger to themselves and our troops.

honora on September 27, 2006 at 2:04 PM

I won’t judge any of this situation until we know more, but if I’m a contractor driving in Iraq one thing is certain:

I’m packing Heat.

If I go down, I’m going down with guns blazing.

lan astaslem on September 27, 2006 at 2:17 PM

LakeRuins has it nailed. And while I don’t have any reason to doubt this man’s word, it’s still a single source story.

Kadnine on September 27, 2006 at 2:19 PM

if i go down as well,i’m taking some islamic facists down with me too.

Starblazer on September 27, 2006 at 3:11 PM

i’m sure that left-wing liberal democrats will use this as propaganda for their political agenda as the same with their terrorists pals would do.

Starblazer on September 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM

Obviously there are a few questions about the clip; mine was why was he filming at that time (I am not insinuating anything…I am just curious).

What bothers me, though, is the non-answer answer given by Halliburton. Okay, Wheeler was advised that it’s dangerous to work in Iraq (as if anyone needed Halliburton to tell them that). The issue is the representations made to entice people to go work there…are they representations or misrepresentations? What he says about the bulletproof glass and armed guards is troubling. Were they told that US Army protection is questionable? (I make this comment having read the comment above that perhaps the soldiers were acting in accordance with their training and perhaps acted appropriately…again no insinuations, just curiosity)

(Where I work, in South America a lot of former professional soldiers are going to work in Iraq as private security. There are widespread complaints in the media that the representations made to get them to go are not complied with…for example, the pay is maybe 80% less than they were told they would get…it would really be an interesting investigation to see if there is a pattern of misleading recruiting practices worldwide(

Blaise on September 27, 2006 at 3:28 PM

PMF remain a really bad idea: expensive and a danger to themselves and our troops.

Is there any evidence of this?

Pablo on September 27, 2006 at 3:30 PM

Honora/GregH,

I’m sure glad you folks place so much stock in the US military. I hope that means you will support tripling the size of the military to allow all those new PFCs to drive trucks for us in Iraq and Afghanistan. And a 1.2 Trillion dollar DOD budget to go with equipping those new folks.

Because your dismissal of Private Military Firms, a term you invented to show your distaste with men who drive supply trucks, cook meals, empty toilets, and act as bodyguards for VIPs and the US military, just shows that you believe there is no such thing as an honorable dollar to be made supporting those same PFCs and their equipment. Your slang for what you actually believe to be mercenaries shows you have not Clue One on how to run a war, supply our troops, or provide for the defense of your country without bankrupting us.

I suggest if you have such great ideas on how to supply the troops cheaper than Halliburton that you form your own company, make your bids to gain the business, and then accept the consequences of failure to do a good job for your employees when they have to bring food, gas, ammunition, and medical supplies to a war zone and are shot at by ignorant savages who would rather kill than benefit from the supplies these same folks would bring to rebuild.

If you had any experience with the US military, you’d know by now that it’s size and budget would be 3 or 4 times the current size to perform all the support functions currently contracted out just for technical support (and that is without increasing the number of combat troops too). In WWII fully 83% of the US troops in uniform were involved in logistical duties, not combat. That was their duty as part of a winning team.

And in your ingorance, you denigrate Americans who do this job not just because they need the money to provide for their families, but because they love their country and want to do something to support it.

I know that’s asking a lot of you to support them. If you don’t choose to do so, then SHUT UP. We don’t like your kind of patriot here, and we’re free to say so. If you can’t take the heat about this, go join the jihadis, where your sympathies lie anyway.

Subsunk

Subsunk on September 27, 2006 at 3:33 PM

Private Military Firms (PMFs) or Private Military Companies (PMCs) – clearly not some slang that I have concocted.

I wasn’t passing judgement on them one way or the other. Just noting that they are being relied upon more and more frequently. An interesting phenomenon, no? What does that do to the line between the public and private sector?

GregH on September 27, 2006 at 3:45 PM

Subsunk: I was a military wife for 20 years so yes, I know a bit about the military. And if you don’t understand the difference between support troops, which are always the vast majority, whether WWII or today, and PMF, then you need to educate yourself before you make a bigger fool of yourself. Oh and check your math on tripling the size of the military–where did you pull this number from? Utilizing PMF is simply another bandaid to the fact that we need a bigger military–that’s the thing about wars, oddly enough. Go figure. I love all the chest thumpers who go pale at the notion of needing a draft. Oh yeah, we’re gonna invade any country that looks at us funny and we’re gonna kill all the Muslims. Just don’t want to inconvenience anyone. Talk about your drugstore patriotism.

How utterly brave to shout at people hiding behind the skirts of the internet. Ever met a bully who wasn’t a coward at heart?

honora on September 27, 2006 at 3:52 PM

what i dont understand is why the drivers aren’t armed. That video made me want to bawl. The guy is trapped in his truck with no way to defend himself. His buddy gets drug out and shot right in front of him.

Why arent the drivers armed in a hostil area? What kind of backasswards logic is that?

One Angry Christian on September 27, 2006 at 4:08 PM

LakeRuins has it nailed. And while I don’t have any reason to doubt this man’s word, it’s still a single source story.

Kadnine on September 27, 2006 at 2:19 PM

Ditto.

Lawrence on September 27, 2006 at 4:26 PM

what i dont understand is why the drivers aren’t armed. That video made me want to bawl. The guy is trapped in his truck with no way to defend himself. His buddy gets drug out and shot right in front of him.

Why arent the drivers armed in a hostil area? What kind of backasswards logic is that?

One Angry Christian on September 27, 2006 at 4:08 PM

The article claims that there were supposed to be armed guards on every third truck and that there weren’t. As to why the drivers aren’t armed–well not to belabor the point, but these contractors aren’t trained in warfare and I would guess that they are therefore not permitted to carry arms, probably a military reg. It’s one thing to hire a truck drive, it’s another to hire a truck driver who is also supposed to fire on the enemy. As I said, this whole PMC concept in a war zone is very problematic.

It’s beyond tragic.

honora on September 27, 2006 at 4:26 PM

OneAC: the latest articles I could find

http://warprofiteers.com/article.php?id=12510

http://iraqnow.blogspot.com/2004/04/pentagon-halliburton-lets-take-away.html

So it appears the Pentagon forbids the civilian contractors from carrying guns.

honora on September 27, 2006 at 4:56 PM

Why arent the drivers armed in a hostil area? What kind of backasswards logic is that?

One Angry Christian on September 27, 2006 at 4:08 PM

Good question.

While some contractors are actually armed mercenaries, a more significant number of contractors over there are non-combatants. Technical worker specialists, business types, truck drivers, etc.

But this was also an ambush. The first reaction from military people in an ambush is to get out of it, then return with some kind of coordinated plan. In this case, maybe they should have stayed… who really knows? Maybe they did come back… but all we have is about 1 minute of video.

I think this video is more about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If I was a truck driver over there, I would certainly want to be armed.

Lawrence on September 27, 2006 at 5:30 PM

It’s amazing how many times they kept telling him to move after he continuously repeated that he could not move.

zerodamage on September 27, 2006 at 8:09 PM

I could not view the film either. So, all I know is based upon the posts above.

As for arming everybody who is in Iraq, there are certainly rules. For Americans contractors, U.S. federal law still imposes criminal sanctions against anybody who misapplies the “Rules of Engagement” (ROE). So, not all civilians are armed, because they were never trained in what the ROE are, and probably were never trained in the use of firearms themselves. So, I wouldn’t make over-generalizations about what “war profiteers” are doing, or not doing. Some (actually MANY) “civilian” “contractors” ARE armed, and KNOW what the ROE are. But using “deadly force” in self-defense is generally allowed under the law (depending on the weird State law applicable) – even here in the United States.

Also, the comments above accurately reflect the rule (except for foot-infantry caught in a “close” ambush situation) to try to evade out of the kill zone as rapidly as possible.

As for the difference between front-line troops and rear echelon mother-fuc*ers (REMFs), it’s the training and the mental attitudes. Front line troops KNOW that they will have to meet and kill the enemy, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. They train for it. REMFs (which includes the MPs, by the way) think that they are “safe” behind the forward edge of battle. They (the REMFs) DO NOT train for it (by and large).

Not a Dhimmicrat on September 27, 2006 at 8:57 PM

The release of this video by ABC/Brian Ross NOW, just before the election, is an attempt to undermine both the military and the President/Republicans. This is a partisan move to bolster the Democrat’s chance in November.

Ross is a Democratic partisan operative as is Halperin, ABC’s political editor. And the showing of this video and commentary is intended to make the viewer angry enough to vote Democrat in November. That is all there is to it.

Remember, what you are seeing in the tape happend over a year ago. This isn’t “current events” but “old news” because Iraq TODAY is different from Iraq in 2005.

And I don’t believe for one minute that this this tape was broadcast NOW simply because the driver decided to come forward at this time, instead of last fall, after he no longer worked at Haliburton.

This movie is being shown for MAXIMUM EFFECT and we can expect similar moves by the leftstream media between now and the election.

The battle we saw on the video happened because the army non-com or officer got lost. Tragic, but it happens. And the mistake provided the enemy with an ad-hoc ambush where the convoy would have to run a gauntlet to get out.

Arm chair generals can squabble as to the tactics employed by the guy (or gal) in charge (attempt to run the gauntlet or sit at the blocked end of the road and scream for air support), but the guy or gal in charge made a command decision to charge through the kill zone, which, BTW, is what they are trained to do.

No matter WHAT Ross or the poor driver say, the Army didn’t NOT “cut and run” and deliberately abandon him. They utilized their superior mobility to evade and escape, saving as many lives as they could.

If the army had actually abandoned him, the gunships wouldn’t have come back for him.

Every commander knows that his decisions may cost lives. It goes with the territory. It’s part of war. And commanders make mistakes that do cost lives. It is the way it is.

However, even back then, MOST convoys got through without a scratch. Ross made a point of NOT mentioning that! And even when things go to all cluster-fuck, daring and heroism often causes the ambushes to blow up in the enemy’s face.

Remember Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester? A Kentucky Guardsman, she received the Silver Star for combat in March 2005 — the first woman to have received it since WWII.

Here’s how it happened.

From http://patriotfiles.org/HOH_SS_OIF.htm

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester of the 617th Military Police Company, a National Guard unit out of Richmond, Ky., received the Silver Star, along with two other members of her unit, Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein and Spc. Jason Mike, for their actions during an enemy ambush on their convoy. Other members of the unit also received awards.

Hester’s squad was shadowing a supply convoy March 20 when anti-Iraqi fighters ambushed the convoy. The squad moved to the side of the road, flanking the insurgents and cutting off their escape route. Hester led her team through the “kill zone” and into a flanking position, where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 grenade-launcher rounds. She and Nein, her squad leader, then cleared two trenches, at which time she killed three insurgents with her rifle.

When the fight was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.

Sometimes battles go well for us. Sometimes they do not. This battle in the video did not go as well as it might, thought there were only 2 KIA and one wounded. The ambush in Mogidishu ’93 cost us 18, if you’ll recall.

However, you liberals should take note: The enemy murdered two good men — in CLEAR violation of the Geneva Convention, not that you liberals care.

georgej on September 28, 2006 at 2:32 AM

I am unable to view the video but based on experience and more then a passing knowledge of Army tactics I think it is more likely the troops went into an immediate action drill, to wit get out of the kill zone and evaluate the situation and then proceed to put together a plan to attack the enemy and eliminate the threat. You can not fault the troops for doing what they are trained to do. Those contractors would know that also. The notion that you stand there like John Wayne is best left for Hollywood and the movies.

Uh, 40 minutes. Way too long. They should have gotten SA taken care of and started moving back into the area within 10-15 minutes.

Besides why didn’t the predator drone have Hellfires and hit the crowd? More PC from the JAGs, who don’t want to offend muslims…terrorists?

Tim Burton on September 28, 2006 at 2:50 AM

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2495326

When I tried to apply for going to Iraq, I turned down a number of convoy jobs and such because they told me I would be unarmed. I would have to sign a paper swearing to not carry a weapon. I asked the guy why in God’s green earth does their company have the policy. He said, “We don’t it is a government policy and they can hold us liable for any misuse of a weapon by an employee.”

WTFH?!?!?!

He said also it was because we would be “illegal combatants”.

Double WTFH?!?!?!

This policy makes as much sense as the policy for us not to bomb cemetaries or mosques.

Simply uniform these convoy drivers teach them the basics and give them some weapons. Call them Mercenaries, a very historical military job. Besides, does anyone in the right mind think that these POS muslims actually care about the GC, legal/illegal combatants or any other factor than them being infidel Christians from the West?

Finally, these aren’t legal combatants, so we do not need to follow the GC, give our civilians works guns, grenades and let them protect themselves when someone in the military screws up (Which happens, as much as I like those guys, Murphy’s Law kicks in sooner or later.).

Also, after talking to a few buddies, I still don’t understand why we don’t set up FB with Arty for them to call. I was told about the times being bothered that they would be in a bad position and be told 15 minutes (or more) till airpower gets there. They complained that the military leaders didn’t want Arty being used in cities and towns, because it isn’t as accurate as a JDAM or even a rocket, and were worried about civilians.

I don’t understand our obsession with civilians. The best way to protect civilians is to stop the killing, so priority 1 should be killing bad guys, not worrying about civilians. Besides, I can’t help but wonder how many civies are giving aid and comfort to the terrorists.

Tim Burton on September 28, 2006 at 2:51 AM

One more note:

I am reading America’s Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror, by Larry Schweikart.

In the introduction on pages xvi-xvii, Schweikart wrote in describing what he calls “American culture of combat”:

The ironic dynamic by which antiwar protesters, through their emphasis on American casualties as their primary means to change public opinion, have actually forced the U.S. military to relentlessly labor to keep our casualties down while making our soldiers more efficient. And the protesters have paradoxically helped to make the American armed forces the most lethal in the world.

Now, I consider the antiwar movement to have long ago crossed the line from dissent into treason. I make that judgment based upon the letter discovered in October 2003 written by Jay Rockerfeller which outlines the Democratic Party’s plans to sabotage the war for partisan gain. I viewed that letter as conspiracy to commit treason (or as close to it as one can get, as Zell Miller put it).

But this new understanding that because of the eternal yapping of the liberals, the result they strive for — a weakened America — is exactly the opposite of what resulted — underscores just exactly how evil and treasonous they really are. Because their true motive is not about saving lives, it is about weakening America so that it can be destroyed by our enemies.

And now, I have even less consideration for their opinion — and I despise them even more.

georgej on September 28, 2006 at 2:59 AM

Just saw the long version. FYI, it has much better audio than the short clip at ABC, faster loading, too. The radio transmissions are much easier to hear which adds a great deal to the context.

My initial opinion remains the same: While my heart goes out to Mr. Wheeler for having experienced the same kind of “wrong turn” convoy incident as I did (several times, though without injury) during my time in Iraq, I don’t see any evidence here of Army negligence or malicious intent against the civilian employees of KBR, as HalliburtonWatch would have us believe.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my assesment after the results of the full investigation into this incident are released to the public.

But this tape simply demonstrates the lack of complete information, or, “fog of war” prevalent in a combat zone. While it is compelling video, again, it’s still a one source story, open to different interpretations. Especially after hearing the cleaner audio of the long version with the Army’s repeated attempts to coordinate pick ups of the survivors by the non-disabled trucks. I missed that in the short ABC version before.

Kadnine on September 28, 2006 at 5:18 AM

GregH/Honora,

Private Military Firms have been with the US military since the 60s (at least). They have provided logistical support and technical expertise, especially in the repair of equipment and machinery since that time. Our aircraft, ships, and tanks could not remain workable without their presence in forward areas, simply because they were our liaison between manufacturers and the military for manuals, spare parts, and know how. I have worked with them for many years. They are not perfect, and they are out to make money providing a necessary service. How capitalist of them! Calling Halliburton a Private Military Firm while insinuating a troubling history or premise of operation is unfair, uninformed, and uncalled for.

Honora, if you lived with a guy for 20 yrs in the military, then you should know that PMFs have been with us at least your entire marriage to that gentleman. They ran maintenance routines on air depots, fixed ships and improved their gear, maintained helicopters and tanks by assisting the troops assigned to that work. They have had a long and honorable history. The fact that these boys got killed driving trucks in Iraq makes their contribution to the United States no less honorable than the contribution made by the soldiers who were protecting them. They are part of a team. They were serving that team when they died violently at the hands of terrorists and insurgents.

I was in the Pentagon when the privatization initiatives gained steam. These hazards were discussed and were known. The decision was made to privatize so much of the logistical work because it costs at least 1.5 times more to train and equip military personnel to do the same job. Each military man must have the basic military boot camp training, be fed clothed, and supported by pay, medical, etc… whether he drives a truck or flies an aircraft. Tripling the budget of the US military and the size of the forces is a conservative estimate in my opinion, for eliminating the civilian contractors from the fight, and for ramping up the war to an all out effort, including a draft.

If you suspect my motives or my position on this, you may find out more here.

“Subsunk: I was a military wife for 20 years so yes, I know a bit about the military. And if you don’t understand the difference between support troops, which are always the vast majority, whether WWII or today, and PMF, then you need to educate yourself before you make a bigger fool of yourself. Oh and check your math on tripling the size of the military–where did you pull this number from? Utilizing PMF is simply another bandaid to the fact that we need a bigger military–that’s the thing about wars, oddly enough. Go figure. I love all the chest thumpers who go pale at the notion of needing a draft. Oh yeah, we’re gonna invade any country that looks at us funny and we’re gonna kill all the Muslims. Just don’t want to inconvenience anyone. Talk about your drugstore patriotism.”

“How utterly brave to shout at people hiding behind the skirts of the internet. Ever met a bully who wasn’t a coward at heart?”

honora on September 27, 2006 at 3:52 PM

How prophetic that we agree we need a larger military! I also believe we need the Will to use it when required. What policy do you subscribe to?

There is nothing hidden from you at all now. The Coward that I am supposed to be awaits your response once you have reviewed my position. Feel free to comment there, ma’am. As for whether I am a bully, you aren’t any more bruised than I am by your assertions I know not what I am talking about or that I am suppressing your speech. Your feelings may be hurt, but you seem to be able to comment, as loudly as badly as you wish.

Subsunk (drugstore patriot) out.

Subsunk on September 28, 2006 at 9:50 AM

Subsunk said:

Calling Halliburton a Private Military Firm while insinuating a troubling history or premise of operation is unfair, uninformed, and uncalled for.

Scanning through this thread, I notice that neither I nor honora mentioned Haliburton, so I don’t really know what you are basing the previous statement upon.

And once again, I will reiterate that I am simply intrigued by the frequency with which these PMFs are being employed, and the implications associated.

GregH on September 28, 2006 at 10:27 AM

Subsunk: in a word, bullshit. You know as well as I do (??) that privatization began after the Cold War and the subsequent shrinking of the military. Yes, there have been contracted employees before, but limited and not in mission critical functions and certainly not in the circumstances which we have with most of these PMFs today, where the responsibilty and management is being outsourced.

Here’s the thing: business and the military have different objectives, different cultures. The number one objective of any successful company is maximizing profit. How do you increase you profits? Two ways: increase revenues or decrease expenses. How comfortable are you with mission critical functions being handled by people whose objectives include cutting expenses?

The difference in culture is just as problematic.

Yes I think we need a much larger military. I would expand our presence in Iraq significantly (3X at least) probably in conjunction with dividing the country into 3 regions. Or get out. Half measures are deadly. By the way, the current ration of PMF personnel to troops is roughly 1:10 in Iraq, so again your “triple” reference is confusing.

honora on September 28, 2006 at 11:45 AM

Honora,

Well, since you can’t just get rid of the 15,000 contractors in Iraq without also getting rid of the 15,000 in Korea, 15,000 in Germany, 15,000 in Kuwait, Japan(Okinawa) and all the other “PMFs” then I take it that we need at least an additional 100,000-200,000 enlisted truck drivers and security forces on the ground, the benchwarmers (replacements) to make up for their rotations home for R&R and training, the instructors to teach them, the admin staff to support them, the medical staff to support them and their families, etc….

I think triple is just the tip of the iceberg, provided we are also going to double the size of the combat forces on the ground as you seem to suggest. I served with tech reps well before (1982 to be exact) the end of the Cold War, which officially is 1991. Granted they didn’t cook for us, but they ran equipment underway, and I will agree that large increases in privatization occurred in the 1990s.

But how is driving a truck “mission critical” any more or any less than feeding the troops at the cafeteria? If you don’t eat, that is not “mission critical”? How does any of that make PMFs a less than honorable profession as you imply?

You argument is not logical. Private firms, tech reps, defense contractors or whatever word you want to use for them, does not make them bad people, not subject to DOD rules or laws, or slackers who are just sucking excessively off the government teat. Your implication that they are such folks is what irks me. They are doing a hard job. Your complaints are not clear as to whether you think they are just lazy or evil. Which is it?

“How comfortable are you with mission critical functions being handled by people whose objectives include cutting expenses?” You mean like the bureaucrats in the Pentagon who justify their existence by cutting military budgets just so they can satisfy Congress and the people that they are being good stewards of the governments’ money AND make a name for themselves as good budget cutters and get promoted? Those same government servants who arbitrarily cut 8 Army divisions from the rolls in 1993 to continue a downsizing which had already eliminated 4-6 Army divisions as a supposed response to the end of the Cold War? As well as 10 Air Force wings and 3 carrier battle groups. Those folks who are much bigger expense cutters than Halliburton or Fluor ever could be. From 1993 to 1997, the US military eliminated enough military force to match the 6th largest military IN THE WORLD. Imagine forces equivalent to Iraq’s entire military being cut all at once just to satisfy budgeteers that they were providing the “Peace Dividend” the American people supposedly insisted on. And we are paying for it today in blood.

How is their cost cutting any more honorable than the cost cutting done by Halliburton to keep their operations rolling while making a (by contract) 1-2% profit on their expenses in Iraq. Read that again. ONE to TWO Percent Profit. That’s all. They show their expenses to the government and then they make one to two percent profit above that number. That is a pittance, and is a major reason KBR is a drain on Halliburton and is looking to be sold off.

When Halliburton quits and KBR folds, who in the Hell do you think is going to drive those trucks? Who is going to feed the troops? Who is going to guard the VIPs? Soldiers that’s who. As if they didn’t have enough of a burden already, now they will have to fight, drive trucks, and feed themselves. Some support!

Your understanding of the reason there are contractors in war zones today, and their contributions to the war effort and the team’s success is not well grounded. They are necessary. They are vital. And they have to be able to be successful, profitable and sustainable or we’ll truly need those $1.2 Trillion dollar DOD budgets I mentioned. I argued about how contractors were useless and in the way when I was younger, like your husband, as well. Until I was required to supervise their programs and saw what they were tasked with providing the military. They are almost cheap at twice their price.

The choice in this conflict is ours. Do it on the cheap and take longer and have these problems. Or do it goldplated, get it over in 4-6 years and kill lots more Iraqis and jihadis in the process.

GregH, while I roger for the fact that you don’t find PMFs objectionable one way or the other, in the case of Halliburton, they own KBR who employed the drivers. Therefore the drivers are, in fact, Halliburton employees as all KBR employees are.

Subsunk

Subsunk on September 28, 2006 at 4:01 PM