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    US Marines wave goodbye as they leave the military headquarters in Najaf in central Iraq, 23 September 2003

    US Defense Contractors Responsible for Military Operations in Middle East

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    US defense contractors bear part of the responsibility for Washington's military involvement in Middle East affairs, a CODEPINK anti-war group national coordinator told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — According to the spokesman, these companies make a lot of money supplying weaponry and equipment to the US Army so "it is in their best interest to continue the war and continue their contracts with the government."

    “They [defense contractors] are jointly responsible for the continuation of the wars and the US military involvement in the Middle East," Alli McCracken said.

    The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 to eliminate weapons of mass destruction believed to have been stockpiled by the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The weapons were never found. The military action claimed the lives of more than 100,000 civilians between 2003 and 2011, according to the Iraq Body Count database.

    Washington was also involved in a 2011 NATO operation to topple Libya’s long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi. Following the military operation the country has remained in a state of civil war

    A US-led international coalition against Islamic State jihadist group has been carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State positions in Iraq since August 2014, and expanded the attacks to include targets in Syria in September 2014, without the approval of the Syrian government.

    US Defense Department Needs More Oversight to Curb Corruption

    Pentagon must make its operations more transparent to defeat corruption in the US military, a CODEPINK anti-war group national said.

    On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that a high-ranking US Army commander, Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, who oversaw the training of Iraqi forces in 2014, has been disciplined for awarding former military classmates a defense contract worth nearly $500,000.

    “This situation [with Pittard] is indicative of a larger problem with fraud and abuse of the Defense Department, and especially when it comes to our forces serving overseas.”

    She called for more oversight and accountability in US Department of Defense to limit corruption.

    According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon reprimanded Pittard in February for "excessive involvement" in the renewable energy contract, part of a $250-million project to improve energy efficiency at Fort Bliss, Texas and "creating the perception of preferential treatment."

    An US Army review board is looking into stripping Pittard’s two-star general rank, the news outlet reported.

    Topic:
    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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