The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Friday, November 28


Article in the Guardian today. Pentagon Funds Pro-U.S. Network in Iraq by Jim Krane.
The Pentagon is seeking bids for a $100 million upgrade to the IMN network, adding an all-news channel that would eventually be broadcast via satellite - in direct challenge to the Arab satellite channels.

The winner of that contract will play a large role in shaping Iraq's media. The British Broadcasting Corp. is one of those in the running.

IMN and Al-Iraqiya were conceived during the State Department's war preparations and are funded by the Defense Department.

After Baghdad fell, the Pentagon sent equipment and media experts from Science Applications International Corp., a U.S. defense contractor whose staff is packed with ex-U.S. military and intelligence officials. SAIC hired 350 Iraqis for the network, which went live May 13.
It will be interesting to see who gets the new contract for $100 million. Maybe it will be Fox News who were the only television network to accompany Bush on his clandestine Thanksgiving trip to Iraq. By the way, of the 13 media personnel who accompanied Bush, at least 4 were from Fox.

Based on the news reports, below is a list of the 13 who flew on Air Force One.
Terence Hunt of Associated Press
Tim Sloan of French news agency AFP
David Shott, a Fox producer
Jim Angle of Fox News Channel
John Wallace Fox News soundman
Fox News cameraman
Richard Keil of Bloomberg News
Mike Allen for The Washington Post
Steve Holland for Reuters (implied)
Chris Usher TIME photographer (implied)
photographer from Newsweek
Since the Iraqis are probably used to lies on their television sets (see Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf), more lying liars would probably go unnoticed.

Thursday, November 27


The Financial Times carries a long article Consultant on Iraq contracts employed president's brother by Stephen Fidler and Thomas Catán in London detailing the relationship of Neil Bush, brother of the President, to individuals whose companies conduct business related to Iraq.
Neil Bush, a younger brother of US President George W. Bush, has had a $60,000-a-year employment contract with a top adviser to a Washington-based consulting firm set up this year to help companies secure contracts in Iraq.

Neil Bush disclosed the payments during divorce proceedings in March from his now ex-wife, Sharon. The divorce was finalised in April and the court papers were disclosed by the Houston Chronicle this week.

Mr Bush said he was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation, a company based in Houston, Texas, that invests in energy and other ventures. For this he received $15,000 every three months for working an average three or four hours a week.

The other co-chairman and principal of Crest is Jamal Daniel, a Syrian-American who is an advisory board member of New Bridge Strategies, a company set up this year by a group of businessmen with close links to the Bush family or administrations. Its chairman is Joe Allbaugh, George W. Bush's campaign director in the 2000 presidential elections.
Money. Money. Money.



The Budapest Sun carries an article Hungarian shot in Iraq by Balázs Dóczy that mentions a subcontractor of Kellogg Brown & Root (Halliburton).
[Péter] Varga-Balázs was not a member of the Hungarian battalion in Iraq (garrisoned in al-Hillah) but worked as an interpreter on a three-month contract with Hungarian based Toifor, a subcontractor of Brown & Root.
The article includes references to monthly salaries of $4000 to $6000. We think this is the website of the Toifor company mentioned in the article. Their website carries the following in a pop up:
Toifor has largest network of portable toilet and sanitation services in Iraq and Kuwait. We are proud to service more than 3000 portable toilets. For inquiries please contact
An article in the Albuquerque Tribune High tech business keeps products a secret by Jonathan B. Cox mentions that Law Enforcement Associates Corp. is providing "surveillance and security equipment to protect law enforcement officers"
Its products are used at military outposts worldwide, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Law Enforcement Associates Corp. is selling to someone in Iraq but to whom or what or how much, it's a secret.

Tuesday, November 25


Short mention of a contract in an article The buiness of terror in the Louisiana Business Report.
Earlier this year [Crisis Response International] CRI won a contract with the U.S. Army to train counterintelligence soldiers at Fort Gordon before they deploy to Iraq.
No dollar amounts.

Sue Pleming at Reuters covers Democrats ask Pentagon to probe Iraq oil imports
Three U.S. Democratic lawmakers asked the Pentagon inspector general Tuesday to investigate alleged overpricing of gasoline sent to Iraq by Halliburton, the firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut, Rep. Henry Waxman from California and Rep. John Dingell from Michigan, also urged the Pentagon to look into the use of money from a humanitarian account, the Development Fund for Iraq, to buy gasoline and possibly weapons.

"We hope you will help restore transparency and accountability to this process by undertaking the important investigations described in this letter," the lawmakers wrote.
We're not going to hold our breath.

Great quote from Rumsfeld:
For example, if you had five of something -- ships, for the sake of argument -- and you reduced two, you end up with fewer ships.  But if those two ships or three ships left have a capability that's double the two ships taken away, you've increased your capability by a substantial margin.
Got that? 5 - 2 = 6. Now you know why the Pentagon has accountability problems.


Not exactly the kind of news source we usually link to but...The Washington Times has an article Local Iraqi builders call bids difficult by Peyman Pejman.
Some Iraqi construction companies say they are being shut of out reconstruction contracts by discriminatory practices and unreasonable standards. U.S. officials reject the charges and say much of the frustration is caused by a misunderstanding of the contractors' legal obligations.
Seems like the US should tailor its business practices to Iraqi standards rather than the other way around.

The Washington Times is owned by the Reverend Moon whom President Bush has called "a man of vision".


Perhaps someone can clarify things for us.

Remember Jay Garner--Iraq's first viceroy? He worked for L3 subsidiary Sy Coleman. Well, L3 has another branch or subsidiary, MPRI, Military Professional Resources Inc.

MPRI is a private military contractor operating in Iraq right now. And no, turns out they are not quite doing now what Center for Public Integrity has them reported as being contracted to do then. Surprised?
In April 2003, MPRI was awarded two contracts valued at a total of $2.5 million by the Defense Department to provide a plan for putting ex-soldiers to work on public works programs and to provide 20 interpreters.

The first contract calls for MPRI to provide "a planning framework that will address the integration of the Iraqi Armed Forces into the overall reconstruction effort and the determination of possible reconstruction requirements." [...] The second contract calls for MPRI to provide interpreters and linguists for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in order to "facilitate the development of effective governmental structures at the local, provincial and national levels in a post-conflict environment" in Iraq.
An article in the News Tribune Getting ready to supply Iraq by Michael Gilbert sheds some light on the subject.
The Stryker brigade's support troops from Fort Lewis are going through training now to make sure they're ready for what's to come.

Troops from the brigade's 296th Brigade Support Battalion have spent the last several days in classroom and field training on Camp Udairi's barren ranges just south of the Iraqi border.

Instructors from a private military contractor, Military Professional Resources Inc., talk to soldiers about the most recent tactics employed by insurgents in Iraq. They suggest ways to respond. And the soldiers get live-fire training, in which they shoot on the move at targets that come at them from nearly all directions.
And yes, those are US troops undergoing the training, not Iraqi's. This raises a bunch of questions for us.
A. Why is a private military contractor teaching classes it sounds like troops should have gotten back in the US by their armed forces?

B. Has the US military simply become a low cost training program to supply private military contractors with knowledgable professionals from whom they then can generate profit?

C. Why not just pay our military personnel more to stick around and pass their knowledge and experience on to troops new to conflict?


Let's call this one a reverse contract since it's a replacement order.
Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, received two orders worth a combined $109 million to produce laser-guided bomb kits to replace those used in the war with Iraq.
Business briefs for Novemebr 25, 2003 in the Rocky Mountain Times Lockheed wins contract to build laser bomb kits  

back in iraq

Jo Wilding, an activist from Bristol UK, has returned to Iraq and is posting at her website, Wildfire.

Saturday, November 22

the end of the world

Takes a minute to load, but it's worth it. The End of the World.


wireless infrastructure

Portal Iraq reports that InterWAVE Communications has received an initial order for $1.4 million.
InterWAVE Communications, a Silicon Valley pioneer in compact wireless communications systems, today announced that it received an initial order from Sanatel totaling $1.4 million for a GSM-based wireless infrastructure to link eight cities in northern Iraq. Sanatel, owned by Halabja General Trading Company, is one of three wireless operators officially licensed to provide cellular services in Kurdistan.

trade expo

A trade expo is coming up, The International Industrial Exhibition for Rebuilding Iraq. This one is December 14 to 18 in Amman, Jordan. Information is available at Registration fees start at $375.

Friday, November 21

iraq index

AlertNet reports that the Brookings Institution has launched an Iraq Index, "billed as the first in-depth assessment of American efforts in Iraq." The website is at Topics include:
U.S. Troop Fatalities
U.S. Troop Casualties Since the Start of the War
British Troop Fatalities
Non U.S. & U.K. Coalition Fatalities
Iraqi Security Forces Casualties
Coalition Troop Strength in Iraq
Daily Attacks on U.S. Troops and Rewards for Attacking U.S. Troops
Monthly Attacks on U.S. Troops in Anbar Province
Civilians Killed by U.S. Troops in Baghdad
Baathist Leaders Neutralized
Presence of Foreign Fighters in Iraq
Iraqi Security Forces on Duty
Iraqi Security Forces in Training
Crime-related Deaths in Baghdad
Nationwide Unemployment Rate
Iraqi National Debt: Creditors
Electricity and Oil
Fuel Supplies
Water Supply and Sewage Coverage
Local Governance Councils
Polling Baghdad Public Opinion
Polling American Public Opinion I
Polling American Public Opinion II
A PDF version with source information is available.


Reuters reports in Germany's Siemens wins $95m Iraq project by F. Brinley Bruton that Siemens AG has been awarded a $95 million dollar contract to develop a power station in Iraq according to an industry source.
The industry source also said Siemens had already won subcontracts worth about $50 million in Iraq.
You learn something new every day.

port update

SSA Marine has posted a progress report of their operations on Business Wire, SSA Marine Announces Six Month Operations Update at the Port of Umm Qasr, Iraq.
Contract/Tariff 1. SSA Marine was awarded a $4.8 million, 1-year contract with the United States Agency for International Development. [...] 3. Of the $4.8 million contract, we have to date received $990,000. The profit on the contract is $438,000. The after-tax profit amount is then approximately only $280,000. 4. We collect revenues from Port tariffs on behalf of the Port * none goes to SSA Marine. 5. Any additional funding is by USAID for operating costs and capital improvements deemed necessary by USAID.
Wouldn't you just love to see all of the contracting agencies provide such reports? Kudos to SSA Marine for publishing their report.

PS SSA Marine is the new name of the company formerly known as Stevedoring Services of America. The contract to manage the Umm Qasr port was one of the earliest awarded by the USAID. The parent company of SSA Marine is Carrix.

Thursday, November 20

oil for food

As of November 21, the UN's Oil for Food Program will be shifted to the Coalition Provisional Authority. Approximately 60% of Iraqis have relied on this program to bring food to their tables.
The United Nations transfers administration of the Iraqi Oil-for-Food Program to the Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi officials November 22.

The transfer will shift responsibility to the CPA and Iraqi authorities for humanitarian programs funded by oil revenues, for assets ranging from schools to power stations and other infrastructure and for all contracts with infrastructure suppliers.
The CPA has a webpage on the transition. Not much info though. We're surprised the program is ending with so little mention in the news.


Another Iraqi blogger. Live From Dallas is written by Fayrouz Hancock who also posts comments at Healing Iraq. Do go and visit.


Wednesday, November 19


The Washington Post has two articles on contracts. The first is a brief vague summary of the recent conference in Washington: 1300 people representing 650 companies showed up. That's about it on that one.

The second article, U.S. Sets Time Frame For 24 Iraq Contracts, has a few details worth watching.
Of the 24 new contracts, 17 will be for construction projects, including five worth about $5 billion for continued work repairing the country's electrical grid, five more worth about $4 billion for public works and water projects, and two worth about $1 billion to build police stations and prisons. One contract worth about $1 billion will target construction of health facilities, two others worth about $1 billion total will go to transportation and communications systems, and two more worth about $1 billion are for fuel distribution and repairs to the oil industry infrastructure.

Six separate contracts will be awarded for project management, and one will be awarded to support the office Nash will head to oversee how the congressional funds are spent.
By the way, London is next: November 21. A record of the event will be posted at UK Trade & Investment website.

The Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Office has a website at The many names are getting us a tad confused as the Coalition Provisional Authority seems to have many offices going at the same time. The main page of the IIRO website is the Iraq Program Management Office.

Oh well. Bureaucracy.


The Guardian today:
Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

Tuesday, November 18


Oops. Put out the fire on one crisis, and a new pops up.
Hollinger International is examining investments that were made by Richard Perle, a director on the publisher’s board and prominent defense advisor, on behalf of the company. [...]

That probe, which is being lead by former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Richard Breeden, is wide-ranging and involves close scrutiny of so-called “related-party transactions,” or deals in which members of Hollinger’s board or executives personally benefited from deals the publisher agreed with other companies.
Messy. Messy. Messy. But not to worry, they'll be cleared. What else would you expect--justice? That's so yesterday. Read the article, Hollinger examines Perle investments - Newspaper publisher probes corporate-governance practices by Stephanie Kirchgaessner.

By the way, did you know fellow Defense Policy Board advisor Henry Kissinger was also on the board at Hollinger?


Quick mention of a portion of a defense contract in a press release on Business Wire. Comtech Telecommunications Corp. Receives $9.5 Million of Additional Orders on Its Movement Tracking System Contract on November 18, 2003.
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced today that its Maryland-based subsidiary, Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp., has recently received $9.5 million of additional orders relating to its Movement Tracking System, or MTS, contract with the U.S. Army Logistics Command. These orders bring the total orders on the contract to-date to approximately $84.3 million.

The equipment order for approximately $7.0 million is for mobile satellite transceivers and related hardware, as well as installation kits. Approximately $2.5 million of the total orders were funded from the U.S. Army's fiscal 2003 budget for installation, training and support activities in Kuwait and Iraq.
Just wondering how much more of the $84.3 million was related to work in Iraq.

According to a press release online, Hyundai Engineering is set to win a $400 million dollar contract.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. is expected to win US$400 million worth of orders for renovating or repairing aging power facilities in Iraq, according to company officials Monday. "Hyundai Engineering will sign a joint deal with a Japanese company to renovate or repair a 1,200 megawatt power plant and a 400 kV transformer it itself built before the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf War," said a Hyundai official. The two sides are in the final stage of talks, the official said, adding that the deal will amount to as much as US$400 million if they succeed in securing orders to build four of the 300-megawatt power generators operating in the plant.
Guess we'll see if it happens.

Sunday, November 16


Healing Iraq recently posted a list of Iraqi bloggers. We updated the right hand side bar with the links under--surprize--Iraqi Bloggers. Go and visit. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 15

odds & ends

Corruption...Guardian reports on doings in Paris and Iraq.
Nadhmi Auchi, who has a big stake in a consortium to build Iraq's mobile phone net work, was given a 15-month suspended jail sentence in Paris last week and fined £1.4 million for his role in the Elf oil scandal.
Missing police or ambulance drivers in your neighborhood? They may have gone to Iraq to work for Halliburton.

The Army has it's own theatre troupe heading out to Iraq.
BRAVO! Army Theatre Touring Company, an Army Entertainment Division production, is a program of the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center in Alexandria, Va. It is one of more than 50 Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs the Army provides for Soldiers and families worldwide. Further information is available at the Army MWR Web site at
An army ranger and his brother have teamed up to create a charity, Kyle's Schools Campaign, to collect funds and supplies for 11 war-torn schools in Laylan, a small town in northern Iraq.
Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC), a nationwide environmental, and ordnance and explosives (OE) remediation firm, is partnering with ZapataEngineering, a full-service engineering and OE firm, to donate much-needed money to the Kyle's Schools campaign. Created by Kyle Barden, an Army ranger serving in Iraq, and his brother, Taylor, the drive is bringing together individuals and businesses from across the country...

what to do

Hi Pakistan has a long editorial today, Is there a way out of Iraqi imbroglio? by Iqbal Cheema that looks at what to do in Iraq. It's well worth reading.
Undoubtedly the situation in Iraq is far from satisfactory and there is no light at the end of tunnel. Not only the Americans have to re-evaluate and to re-think their Iraq strategy but European Union, China, Japan, Russia should also try to help in sorting out a plan that could inject peace and stability into Iraq and facilitate the reconstruction work.
As the expression says, it takes a village.


more satellite stuff

Gulf News reports ND SatCom completes Iraq air traffic work on a contract recently awarded.
ND SatCom AG, a leading supplier of satellite-based broadband and military communication network solutions, has announced the completion of the air traffic control network for Iraqi air space as part of the reconstruction process.

The Germany–based company, with its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi, was awarded a contract by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to implement a satellite-based air traffic control (ATC) network for the Iraqi air space.

survey says

It's not a Request for Proposal. It's a Survey.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors, International Broadcasting Bureau (BBG/IBB), Office of Contracts (M/CON) is conducting a market survey to determine the existence of sources (preferably who are currently operating in Iraq) who can fabricate, deliver and optionally install PAL VHF and/or UHF TV systems at frequency and power levels to be determined. The first installation must be completed not later than February 29, 2004.
So "survey" means you answer questions but don't get paid for providing useful information another vendor could use, right?



The New York Times reports that Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle has not violated any conflict of interest rules. The decision is based partly on the petite technicality that Perle only works for 8 days out of the year advising the Pentagon. If he had worked 60 might have been a different story.
The Pentagon's inspector general concluded this week that Richard N. Perle violated no ethics laws or rules when he was leading an influential Pentagon advisory board while at the same time representing two companies in their dealings with the government.
What are they smoking in Washington these days? Accountability? Out the window. Ethics? No where to be found.

Thursday, November 13

public affairs

The US Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Alabama maintains a web page, The Iraq Media Kit 2003. Their most recent posting is on the deaths of two contractors in Iraq who worked for EOD Technology.

The webpage also has links to pdf files for Frequently Asked Questions regarding contracts. The contractors listed are: EOD Technology, Inc.; Tetra Tech FW, Inc.; Parsons Corporation; Project, Cost and Time; Stratacom Media; USA Environmental Inc.; Zapata.

The total award is $287 million based on the October 31 PDF Funding Summary for "handling removals of unexploded ordinance". Work began on September 11, 2003.

An additional statement identifies EOD Technology, Inc. and USA Environmental Inc. as both having received earlier contracts for $3.45 million each thru Task Orders issued on March 27, 2003.

Wednesday, November 12

odds & ends

Miscellaneous mentions of contracts in the news:

Middle East North Africa Financial Network, reports in InterNetwork Experts wins contract in Iraq on November 5, 2003, that InterNetwork Experts Inc. has won a contract with Spacelink International "for the design, deployment and 12-month support of the IP telephony systems for the three Office of Coalition Provisional Authority facilities in Basra, Mosul and Al Hillah."

Arab Data Net posts links to articles on business in Iraq.


another conference

This time it is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December. Details at the American Iraqi Chamber of Commerce


The Iraq Business Intelligence Report has a new format. You can view a recent issue at their website.
The Iraq Business Intelligence Report is published twice-monthly by the Iraq Forum for Reconstruction and Development (Wilmington, Delaware), with technology provided in full by Topik Solutions, Inc. (7 Elliewood Ave. Suite 2B, Charlottesville, VA 22903).
Subscriptions: $595.00 USD.
Another source for information is Portal Iraq (not to be confused with the Future of Iraq Portal). Portal Iraq offers a free weeky newsletter with articles on reconstruction in Iraq.

One of these days we promise to consolidate the links into the side bar.

the employer of a missing man

How to write a blog entry that reveals another contract in Iraq thru the story of a missing man? There is no polite way, we discovered.

In a short NBCSan Diego article on the business man and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, the AP writer mentions his employer:
Ackermann is employed by Ultra Services, a company based in Istanbul that furnishes supplies and logistics assistance for U.S. Army bases in Iraq. He arrived in Iraq in late August to work as one of the company's contract managers.
The work sounds consistent with Halliburton's LOGCAP III contract and so we will assume Ultra Services is a subcontractor of some sort. We have so far been unable to locate any further information on Ultra Services.

The name of the man is Kirk von Ackermann. Our sincere wishes for his safe return to his family and friends.


iTnews Australia reports in Multiemedia bags $40m Iraq satellite contract by Byron Connolly that Australia's Multiemedia and UK's Transcom have secured a $40 million dollar contract to provide two way satellite services in Iraq. The US military is funding the contract.
The US military would be charged each month based on the amount of bandwidth that is used by the soldiers. "The need for services in that region is immense," said D’Alberto.

Transcom would be running a network operations centre from the UK which would monitor the satellite service and set up the clients, D’Alberto said.

Initially, the service would be rolled out at 20 locations at a cost of $5 million, but would eventually scale to 200 locations, D’Alberto said.
Interesting side note: Multiemedia also provides services to The Central Bank of Iran and The Iranian Embassy.

Company Multiemedia & Transcom
Subcontractors New Skies
Award $40 million
Agency US Military
Date of RFP
Date of Award October 19-23, 2003 (date of GITEX 2003 in Dubai)
Nature of work To provide two way satellite services in Iraq.
Multiemedia bags $40m Iraq satellite contract
by Byron Connolly
iTnews Australia
November 12, 2003

Tuesday, November 11


There's an op-ed Cynics Without a Cause in the New York Times by David Brooks.
The fact is that unlike the Congressional pork barrel machine, the federal procurement system is a highly structured process, which is largely insulated from crass political pressures. The idea that a Bush political appointee can parachute down and persuade a large group of civil servants to risk their careers by steering business to a big donor is the stuff of fantasy novels, not reality.


In the months leading up to the Iraq war, Defense officials realized they needed plans in case Saddam Hussein once again set his oil wells ablaze. KBR did the study under Logcap. Then in February, with the war looming, Pentagon planners issued an additional bridge contract to KBR to put out any fires that were set. KBR had the experience. Its personnel were in place. It would have been crazy to open up a three-to-five-month bidding process at that time.
So Mr. Brooks, how come it's now 7 months later and the Halliburton contract keeps being extended?

Call us cynical.

Saturday, November 8


Guerrilla News Network has a rather extensive article on Erinys in Iraq, Guarding the Oil Underworld by Jim Vallette and Pratap Chatterjee posted on September 9, 2003 that originally appeared at CorpWatch.
When unidentified saboteurs struck the vital Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline in northern Iraq recently, one in a number of recent attacks on the Middle Eastern nation's oil production and transport, the United States government announced that a company called Erinys would be brought in to train 6,500 Iraqis to guard oil pipelines, wellheads, and refineries, as well as water and electrical facilities.

"We are deploying Iraqi resources to protect the facilities and the military will continue to hunt down those trying to attack Iraq's interests," said a coalition spokesman.

Erinys' yearlong $39.5 million contract to protect 140 Iraqi oil installations, for which it beat out larger and more established competitors, will start this October. The Johannesburg-based company will be also offering its protection services to contractors Bechtel and Halliburton's subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root.
By the way, Erinys has on its Board of Directors Alastair Morrisson who founded Defense Systems Limited.

Here's to hoping they really are hiring and training Iraqi workers and paying them a decent wage too.

why no iraqis?

Dow Jones reports in Iraq Inks Pact With S African Firm To Guard Oil Pipeline a company in South Africa has been awarded a contract for security on the pipeline in the north of Iraq. Why not an Iraqi security company?
Iraq has signed a contract with a South African company to protect a northern oil pipeline that has been the target of repeated sabotage, a senior Iraqi oil official said Saturday.

The official said the Eurinys Co. would undertake the protection of the northern oil pipeline that carries crude oil from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

"South African personnel will work as watchmen", he said. But he provided no further details on the contract.
The company's name in the article is mispelled. Here is the link to their website, Erinys International. They also have information on a new Iraq office they have set up. We are unclear which agency is providing the contract funding for security.
Erinys Iraq

Effective May 2nd Erinys has an established in-country capability, under expatriate (UK) management, to provide security services within Iraq.
In addition to security audits and assesments, security planning and executive protection, we are currently the sole providers of:
• Guarding and protective services
• Secure warehousing
• Security escorts
• Visit logistics and protective escorts
• Transportation and logistics for land access from neighbouring countries
Amman: Tel +962 79 660 1200
Amman: Fax +962 6 55 16 256
Iraq: Tel +1 914 360 7823(via USA) or +873 763 692 882(Immarsat)
Office: 16 Zukak 18,601 Emerat Mahla Al Mansour,Baghdad
Thank you to Gary Smith and Davis M. for providing information on this contract.

Friday, November 7

there is no list

There is a very long letter to the Editor Utterly Cozy in Iraq in the Washington Post from Bill Allison of the Center for Public Integrity in reponse to an editorial by Steven Kelman. Our interest in the letter was the following comment:
Before this report, the center had gone to court only once in its 14-year history to force the government to comply with a FOIA request; the recalcitrance of the State Department and the Corps forced us to file two suits. After six months of trying, we are not confident that we have developed a definitive list of contracts awarded by the federal government for work in Afghanistan and Iraq. While researching the report, we found several instances of companies that touted their work for the U.S. government in one of those countries on their Web sites or in press releases, but which the government had not disclosed to us.
It is an enormous relief to us here at bpost to know it is not only us who have had difficulty in squaring up awarded contracts with official reports or announcements. The Center for Public Integrity has much greater resources than we do and yet, they came up against the same problem: there is no definitive list of contracts being maintained.

The important question is why?

cpa conference

The Department of Defense has issued an announcement of an upcoming Coalition Provisional Authority conference, Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Office Industry Day, to be held on November 19 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, VA. A second conference will be held in London on November 21, 2003.
Industry Day is presented in coordination with the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the US Army Corps of Engineers Small and Disadvantaged Business Advocate. This will be a joint government and non-profit partnership with the CPA Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Office (IIRO).

Additional information is available at the Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Office website or by phone at 703-317-6577. Registration ranges from $150 to $300 per person.

btw: The Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Office website seems to be new. Many pages are not yet available.

Note: As of November 19, 2003 the above is located at

the father
Trying to eliminate Saddam...would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible...we would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq...there was no viable --exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles...Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. -- George HW Bush
There's a new Ray McGovern article, Chinook Down, at Counterpunch.

Thursday, November 6


Short article, Alabama businessman finds contracts in warn-torn Iraq, by Associated Press
on wealthy businessman Winton Blount IV who began working in Iraq with Disaster Relief Co.
When the project was finished, Blount and Furr decided they wanted to stay and pursue other ventures. They left Disaster Relief Co. and formed a partnership with two Iraqi brothers, Bashir and Namir Al Mufti, who headed Saida General Contractors.

Two weeks later, the new firm landed what Blount called a "tiny contract" to convert a burned-out building into barracks for soldiers. Three days later, they landed a barracks-building project worth $2 million. The task was to convert space in torn-up warehouses into 230 rooms for 800 soldiers in less than 45 days. The company finished the job in 42.


Wednesday, November 5


The UK subsidiary of an American company, Parker Instrumentation, has received a £200,000 contract to supply tube fittings and valves for an oil refinery in Iraq. In Firm helps to rebuild Iraq by Tony Gussin in the North Devon Gazette and Advertiser, the article fails to mention which agency the funding is being provided by or who the contract was awarded thru. Halliburton perhaps?
A Barnstaple factory has secured a £200,000 order to help rebuild war torn Iraq. Parker Instrumentation, at Pottington Business Park, has overcome stiff opposition to be the company to supply tube fittings and valves for the rebuilding and refurbishment of Basra oil refinery in Southern Iraq.

The Barnstaple plant, a division of the multi-national American-owned Parker Hannifin Corporation, had to pass United Nations approval before its products could be shipped to the troubled Middle-eastern country.
Thank you to Gary Smith for alerting bpost to this article.

pay off

The New York Times reports in Spain Is Told Its Help in Iraq Will Pay Off by Dale Fuchs that some aid is coming Spain's way. Some of it already has. Add it on to the cost of the war in Iraq.
Spain's political support of the United States in the war in Iraq will have an economic payoff, the president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, told Spanish business leaders here on Wednesday.


Mr. Aznar's trip to Florida, California and Texas in September was part of the larger strategy, and it has already shown some results. The Spanish company Indra Sistemas won a 2.8 billion euro ($3.2 billion) contract from the United States government to make aviation simulators; a Spanish biotechnology company has set up shop in California; and Spanish infrastructure companies will receive special consideration for a $15 billion highway and telecommunications project in Texas, said Jaime Malet, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Spain.

The United States has promised to back Spain's candidacy for a 4.5 billion euro nuclear fusion project, known as the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor, which would create 1,300 jobs for scientists alone, Mr. Malet said. Spain will be competing with France for the European Union's endorsement to get the project. But if the European Union chooses France, Mr. Malet said, then the United States would throw its support to Japan, leaving Europe out of the project.


Tuesday, November 4


The Department of Defense released an announcement today of a new internet site for recruiting civilian employees in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Supporting Our Friends in Iraq and Afghanistan (SOFIA) is a Department of Defense program that seeks to hire motivated civilian employees to help the fledgling Iraqi and Afghani governments in their quest to become full-fledged democracies.

SOFIA's web site is located at:

Job skills being sought are numerous and across the spectrum, including civil engineering, banking, agriculture, education, communications and security. Interested applicants should search under the 'Available Opportunities' section for current job vacancies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Individuals will be hired by the department through the U.S. Army, which is the executive agent, for a 12-month period with the option to extend. Applicants do not have to be current or past federal employees.

Prospective applicants must be willing to live under field conditions. Foreign language aptitude and prior military experience are helpful but are not required.
Do read the About Us
This is a unique opportunity to serve our country. People who submit a resume need to understand that conditions may be harsh, primitive and hazardous. Conversely, there may be few opportunities in life to make such a lasting contribution to world peace. Prior experience in the military should be a big help in adapting to the mission.
A lasting contribution to world peace?


The Washington Post has an interesting article on delivering school supplies to children in Iraq. Security Holds Up School Supplies by Ariana Eunjung Cha in the November 5, 2003 issue contains details of where some of the funding awarded to Creative Associates International Inc. was spent. The article also includes names of some of the subcontractors involved.
The materials for each of the 1.5 million school kits cost $4.56, and the extra delivery costs added 75 cents per kit -- about 16 percent to the price tag. Creative Associates also is spending up to $1.25 million of its $63 million contract on security for project personnel.


The delivery of 58,500 aluminum-framed green chalkboards and erasers, which cost $2.7 million, also turned out to be unexpectedly complex. Designed by British firm Findel Education Ltd., they were manufactured in Turkey. When the chalkboards were ordered in the early summer, the roads from the north to Baghdad were relatively safe. Most of the planned route went through Kurdistan, a region that had been oppressed under the old regime and where there has been little violence against the U.S.-led occupiers. A single Turkish firm, Caniler, agreed to take the goods all the way to the Iraqi governorates for $780,000.
Approximately $8 million for school supplies and delivery, $3.5 million for chalkboards, erasers, and delivery. Subcontractors include: American Manufacturers Export Group Inc., an unknown manufacturing company in China, Matrix International Logistics Inc., Findel Education Ltd., an unknown manufacturing company in Turkey, Caniler, an unknown trucking company in Iraq.

According to the article, the school kits include:
12 No. 2 pencils, 6 ballpoint pens, 10 writing tablets, a metric ruler, erasers, mini-calculator, geometry set and plastic pencil sharpener. The red-white-and-blue USAID logo was stamped in as many places as possible.
No mention of who printed the USAID logos or how much it cost to do. We hope they remembered the chalk.