SIGIR audit cites waste in $2.5 billion DynCorps contract

Filed Under Latest News & Scandals | Comments Off on SIGIR audit cites waste in $2.5 billion DynCorps contract

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) this week issued an audit of a $2.5 billion State Department contract with DynCorp International for training Iraq’ police.  The report finds that the State department failed to oversee the contract properly, due to a shortage of staff to oversee work done by contractors.  The SIGIR discovered that there was ONE single conractor officer to monitor invoices for the $2.5 billion contract –who was approving all invoices without questioning them.  (There are now 3 contracting officers overseeing the contract).

The result:  waste.   For example, the Department paid more than $4 million per year to assign a 16-person security detail to protect 6 US contractors in Iraq who already had a whole team of hired guards.

Read report:   http://www.sigir.mil/reports/pdf/audits/10-008.pdf

SIGIR finds money for democracy-building in Iraq is misspent

Filed Under Casualty Reports & FOIA, Latest News & Scandals | Comments Off on SIGIR finds money for democracy-building in Iraq is misspent

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR),  issued a new report today looking at the use of grant funds given to the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute. The majority of the $250 million over five years in grants was supposed to help in building democracy, but instead it was largely spent on  security and overhead costs.

Only 41 percent of the $114 million  in the 7 DRL grants reviewed by SIGIR (there were 12 total) actually went to the programs. IRI’s money went heavily to security (57.2%) with about 7% on overhead;  while NDI spent about one-third on security (32.7%) but more on indirect overhead costs (17%).

Read the report:  http://www.sigir.mil/reports/pdf/audits/10-012.pdf

26% increase in suicide rate among male Iraq/Afghan veterans

Filed Under Latest News & Scandals, Veterans | Comments Off on 26% increase in suicide rate among male Iraq/Afghan veterans

Another cost of the war continues in the form of rising suicide rates among veterans.  Despite massive intervention by the military and the VA, including a number of new programs and studies to prevent suicide among returning vets, the rate between 2005 -2007 has risen by 26%, to historic proportions, according to recent data released by the VA.

Our research shows that the economic value of a life lost is around $7 million — this, of course, does not count the tragedy of the loss to the individual and his or her family.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/01/va-says-suicide-rate-for-vets-jumped-26-from-2005-2007/1

Record rise in infant deformities in Fallujah

Filed Under Medical Topics | Comments Off on Record rise in infant deformities in Fallujah

Another hidden cost of war — the tragic plight of infants in Fallujah.

Read:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/falluja-cancer-children-birth-defects

Iraq operation name changed from “Multinational Force-Iraq” to “US Forces-Iraq”

Filed Under Latest News & Scandals | Comments Off on Iraq operation name changed from “Multinational Force-Iraq” to “US Forces-Iraq”

A ceremony was held at Camp Victory in Baghdad to mark the fact that the “coalition of the willing” is now entirely composed of US troops.   Six months after the last remaining non-American coalition members (from the UK, Australia and Romania) pulled out of Iraq,  the name of the operation was officially changed from “Multinational Force-Iraq” (MNF-1) to “US Forces-Iraq” (USF-1).    The US currently has 110,000 troops in Iraq, which are scheduled to be reduced to 50,000 by August 2010.

Another milestone is that December 2009 was the first month since 2003 when US forces suffered no hostile fatalities (there were 3 non-combat fatalities).  While we welcome this news, it is important to remember  that 4371 Americans have already been killed in the unnecessary “war of choice” in Iraq to date,  while more than $1 trillion dollars has been spent so far, and the final cost will reach $3 trillion.   Meanwhile, nearly 4000 Iraqis have been killed in violent acts during 2009, and millions of Iraqis are still refugees, displaced in neighboring countries.

Image1