In the last 20 years, the United States has come to rely on more private companies to produce equipment and provide certain services for its armed forces than ever before. This has come to include taking certain jobs once performed by uniformed personnel and turning them over to private companies to "free-up" personnel and money. Freeing up this money has allowed the government to downsize its large military infrastructure in order to pay for modernizing equipment, better training, and other significant matters that were once neglected. This has also allowed the government to place many of these costs off of its defense budget and fund them with other monies taken from other government sources. It makes sense fiscally when looked at on paper. But does all this privatization really save the government as much money as they say it does? Are the companies accountable as if they were in the military command structure when charging the military for goods and services? What happens if they are?
Within the last 3 years, Halliburton has come under heavy public and political criticism for its pricing and profit practices, allegations of corruption, and connections to Vice President Dick Cheney.
I will take a look into these allegations and present the facts as they have been reported.
Today, there are at least 100 companies, and still growing, that provide services to the United States military in some capacity or another. Halliburton with its subsidiaries, Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) and Energy Services Group (ESG), is by far one of the largest military contractors in the world. It employs 100,000 people worldwide to sustain its contractual obligations to support military personnel and equipment around the globe (Halliburton, unknown date).
Within the past 60 years, Halliburton has worked to establish its presence as a...