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Tag Archive: Defense Contracts

As Middle East boils, Jordan press crackdown may be strategically ignored

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Patriot Missile launch, photo source Wikimedia With much of the Middle East a cauldron, seemingly stable allies in the region can get free passes from Washington. Consider longtime U.S. ally Jordan. The Hashemite Kingdom blocked access to perhaps as many as 300 "unregistered" media websites without any public comment from Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who has more pressing human rights issues: trying to prevent a "complete and total Syrian implosion." To that end, the U.S. is weighing an extended stay for Patriot missile batteries and F-16 combat aircraft currently in Jordan for military exercises. And that's not the only American assistance that the government of King Abdullah II is anticipating: there is a total $670 million in U.S. aid promised to Jordan this year, according to foreignassistance.gov. The greatest share, $310 million, goes to “peace and security” programs, most of which go to counter-terrorism efforts.

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Top government contractors spend less than a penny on politics for every dollar at stake in sequester

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With the sequestration deadline rapidly approaching, one set of companies has more at stake than any other, at least in terms of sheer dollars: big government contractors. By our count, the ten biggest government contractors would stand to lose roughly $13.6 billion in contracts if the across-the-board 9.4 percent cuts to discretionary defense spending cuts were applied equally across their 2012 contract award amounts. Compare that to the $115 million they spent on lobbying and campaigns, and that investment in politics starts to look like a bargain. And if that political investment helps to avoid the proposed cuts and keep these companies' contracting revenues stable, that would amount to a 125-to-1 return for these 10 companies, on average.

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Contracting Transparency Please

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What would you say if the Defense Department outsourced the arming of our allies in Afghanistan to a company run by a serial stalker and a licensed masseur? The New York Times reports that the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan's fledging military and police forces, AEY, Inc., has been sending 40 year old munitions acquired from former Soviet bloc countries that do not work. AEY, Inc., is headed by Efraim Diveroli, a young man who used his position as a defense contractor to try and weasel his way out of court appearances regarding stalking charges filed against him by a girlfriend who alleged abuse and was nearly convicted of felony battery. The entire story really must be read in total. The AEY story is reminicent of the great movie Lord of War, except the protagonist here, Diveroli, is a bumbling, corrupt fool and not a successful enabler of mass murder like the Nicholas Cage character.

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