A year and a half after President Barack Obama issued an executive order outlawing human trafficking and forced labor on U.S. military bases, a five-month investigation by “Fault Lines” has found compelling evidence that these abuses remain pervasive at U.S. facilities in Afghanistan.
“Fault Lines” traveled to India, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan to trace the journey of a typical migrant worker seeking a job at a U.S. military base. We found Department of Defense subcontractors and their recruiters colluding to profit directly from exorbitant fees charged to job candidates, who are sometimes left with no choice but to work for six to 12 months to recoup those costs.
Over the past decade, the U.S. military has outsourced its overseas base-support responsibilities to private contractors, which have filled the lowest-paying jobs on military bases with third-country nationals, migrant workers who are neither U.S. citizens nor locals. As of January 2014, there were 37,182 third-country nationals working on bases in the U.S. Central Command region, which includes Afghanistan and Iraq — outnumbering both American and local contract workers.
- $952k the maximum amount in pay from the federal government that individual federal contractors can currently receive—a number that’s nearly tripled since a cap on contractor pay was first set in 1998. The Bipartisan Budget Act, which is currently in the Senate, would cut this cap in half, to $487,000, but a standalone bill would cut things down even further. For comparison’s sake, President Obama makes $400,000 per year. source
Contractor compensation is out of control. See all of POGO’s reporting on executive compensation.
This Final Report culminates almost a decade of oversight work and was preceded by 220 audits, 170 inspections, 36 Quarterly Reports, 9 lessons-learned studies, 3 special reports, and 1 evaluation. Together, they comprise over 20,000 pages of reporting on the use of $60 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars for Iraq’s reconstruction. SIGIR’s work made a difference for the good. It imposed accountability and transparency upon a challenging rebuilding program, producing 90 convictions and nearly $2 billion in financial benefits. And SIGIR operated efficiently, with annual costs averaging about $25 million.
This $290,000 Ford Shelby GT350 was used as a kickback by a subcontractor in Iraq. The office that investigated these kinds of abuses issued it’s final report this week. Read about what they found in 10 years of investigating reconstruction contracting in Iraq.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract.”
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.