War & Disaster Profiteering

Corpwatch has acquired a copy of a $600 million dollar contract between DynCorp and the U.S. State Department. The company carries crop fumigation and eradication against coca farmers in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. In Colombia it is also involved in drug interdiction, transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue missions, medical evacuation and aircraft maintenance, among other operations.
A prominent U.S. Senator and other government officials from both Washington and Bogotá stood on a Colombian mountainside above fields of lime-green coca -- the plant sacred to Andean Indians, but also the source of the troublesome drug cocaine. They were awaiting a demonstration of aerial herbicide spraying, part of the U.S. drug war in Colombia.
A U.S.-made Huey II military helicopter manned by foreigners wearing U.S. Army fatigues crash lands after being pockmarked by sustained guerrilla fire from the jungle below. Its crew members, one of them wounded, are surrounded by enemy guerrillas. Another three helicopters, this time carrying American crews, cut through the hot muggy sky.
The industry grew rapidly when the government and corporations paid hundreds of millions of dollars for armed guards after Sept. 11, 2001, and the invasion of Iraq. Now many industry insiders reason that demand for private security in Iraq will begin to decline, and they want to expand beyond just toting guns.
This detailed report provides data on Canada's military exports (between 1990 and 1999) and documents some of the ways in which the federal government is actively encouraging domestic corporations to export a wide range of military equipment to many of the world's most violent and abusive regimes.
The federal government has sent nearly 600 auditors and investigators to the Gulf Coast region to monitor $8.3 billion in contracts awarded to help victims of last year's hurricanes, according to year-end figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.
Richard Jones, a former ambassador to Kuwait and deputy of the Coalition Provisional Authority who has been linked to the Halliburton Iraq contract inquiries, has been selected by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as her new coordinator for Iraq.
But the Clinton administration quietly has hired a high-level group of former U.S. military personnel whose job far exceeds the narrow focus of the drug war and is intended to turn the Colombian military into a first-class war machine capable of winning a decades-old leftist insurgency.
Lockheed Martin of Florida and the Federal Laboratories of Pennsylvania have made quite a contribution to life in the municipality of Bethlehem. Or, in the case of Lockheed, death. Pieces of the US manufacturer's Hellfire air-to-ground missile lie in the local civil defence headquarters in Bethlehem less than two months after it exploded in 18-year-old Osama Khorabi's living room, killing him instantly.
As U.S. efforts to reduce drug trafficking out of the Andes escalate, more U.S.-supplied equipment is flowing into the region and more Americans are becoming involved -- and occasionally coming under fire. But because of the growing privatization of U.S. military efforts abroad, their presence is often unseen.