Money

Defense Contractor KBR Wants $500 Million from U.S. Military to End Iraq War

| by Michael Allen
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The company KBR, formerly known as "Halliburton," which Dick Cheney was head of before he became Vice President, was awarded the largest government services contract ($38 billion) in U.S. history by the Bush-Cheney administration in 2001.

According to the watchdog group AllGov.com, KBR told U.S. Military officials that it will take another 13 years and $500 million to closeout its work in the Iraq.

The U.S. Defense Department wants to pay KBR a fixed fee to complete its work, which would save the U.S. government (and taxpayers) hundreds of millions of dollars. But KBR wants to bill the U.S. government as it works.

KBR is now suing the U.S. Defense Department, which it proudly claimed to support for years.

Emails from the case were recently reviewed by Charles Tiefer, a professor at the University of Baltimore and member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting,

“The emails show things have gotten very nasty between KBR and the Defense Department,” Tiefer told the Federal Times. “The emails show that the Defense Department, in its dealings with KBR, feels like it’s wrestling with a giant python. The kind of willingness to work with KBR that you saw for a number of years during the Iraq War has completely gone.”

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Tiefer said that KBR wants “an open-ended, meter-keeps-running arrangement.”

Even though KBR is suing the U.S. Military, the company told the Federal Times that its relationship with the U.S. Army “remains strong" and “we enjoy frank, open and continuous communications with the Army."

The U.S. government has previously sued KBR over "false claims on contracts."

Sources: AllGov.com, Federal Times, Justice.gov