DECEMBER 20, 2006
The Department of Defense has lost control of thousands of private contractors hired to help operate the nation’s wars and the result has been chaotic on the battlefield and costly to American taxpayers.
A scathing Congressional investigative report reveals how the Pentagon has lost track of many of the 60,000 private contractors supporting the United States military in Southwest Asia and the millions of taxpayer dollars that have been lost as a result.
The problem is so vast that military commanders are often not sure how many contractors use their bases and require food, housing and protection. One high-ranking U.S. military official estimates a loss of about $43 million a year on free meals provided to double-dipping contractors that also receive hefty food allowances.
Besides the economic impact, the disarray is also hurting military operations and troop morale, according to the report which also states that the military does not have the personnel to oversee the implementation of the private contracts. An example is the assignment of one person to monitor compliance of a contract at nearly 30 different installations throughout Iraq in six months.
Officials at the Department of Defense agreed with most of the findings and plan to implement a database of contractors and appoint a high-level office to improve the dismal management. In the meantime, the waste and chaos will continue to cost American taxpayers millions.
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