A long-term blank check for 'war' spending

By Julia Harte

In the federal budget, emergency spending for combat operations is the new normal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "OCO":

"… ar budget – otherwise known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund – is supposed to work. The White House in 2011 reaffirme …"

"… ;– is supposed to work. The White House in 2011 reaffirmed that the OCO, originally established in 2001 under a different name, was for “tempora …"

"… emblematic of a five-year collapse in Washington's fiscal discipline. The OCO budget isn't subject to spending limits that cap the rest of the defense b …"

"… n. But that target has receded, if not disappeared altogether, as the OCO fund has become a larger catchall -- a slush fund used by the militar …"

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Defense":

"… a public website. But it made at least 14 separate ammunition sales to the Department of Defense between 2007 and 2010, worth more than $5.7 million, according to the Fede …"

U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

By Douglas Birch

Islamic State fighters seize U.S. military equipment in Iraq, become targets for U.S. warplanes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Peshmerga":

"… University, said some of these weapons were used in attacks on the Kurdish Peshmerga militia forces defending their semi-autonomous region. ISIS’ threat to t …"

Finding the truth in 935 lies about war with Iraq

By Bill Buzenberg

New book from Center's founder discusses the orchestrated deception that led to war in Iraq, and what it means for the future of truth.

Excerpts from this story referencing "CBS News":

"… ntegrity in 1989, after he had worked in television with ABC News and then CBS News, including producing investigative reports for the late Mike Wallace on 60 …"

Audit reveals widespread problems in security system used by the Navy

By Rebecca LaFlure and R. Jeffrey Smith

The U.S. military is widely using a security system that lets felons onto its bases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Office of Personnel Management":

"… Merton Miller, Associate Director of Federal Investigative Services of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that organized the screening of Alexis by a different federal …"

Lobbyists helping banker recoup land Saddam 'stole'

By Reity O'Brien

Michigan banker hires lobbying duo to help recoup land he says Iraqi dictator stole.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq War":

"… n Iraqi military academy that was captured by U.S. armed forces during the Iraq War. The United States officially turned over the training facility to the Ir …"

Invasion of Iraq, 10 years later

A look back at the Center's coverage of the path to invasion and the cost of war.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… rown and Root. KBR is a former subsidiary of Halliburton, which received a Pentagon contract to study the use of military contractors while Richard Cheney was …"

Waste, fraud and abuse commonplace in Iraq reconstruction effort

By R. Jeffrey Smith

$60-billion pipe dream for creation of a Western-style economy

Excerpts from this story referencing "Defense Secretary":

"… relief and reconstruction program,” Bowen noted, under the tutelage of a Defense Secretary — Donald Rumsfeld — who famously said, “If you think we’re going t …"

U.S. official says government wasted $6-8 billion in Iraq reconstruction

By Zach Toombs and Aaron Mehta

The special inspector general for Iraq tallies the loss of U.S. taxpayer funds at more than 11 percent of the billions spent

Excerpts from this story referencing "contracting officer":

"… nd overseeing government contracts. The State Department enlisted a single contracting officer to handle a $2.5 billion deal with DynCorp International to train Iraqi po …"

"… olving U.S. Army Major Roderick Sanchez, who served from 2004 to 2007 as a contracting officer in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. Sanchez used his authority to solicit ca …"

"… eutenant Commander named Frankie Hand, stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq as a contracting officer, entered into a secret agreement with two U.S. contractors — Michelle Ad …"

Auditors say billions likely wasted in Iraq work

By The Associated Press

Final US audit of reconstruction effort in Iraq says billions of dollars likely wasted

Excerpts from this story referencing "Defense Secretary":

"… that same report, the inspector general, Stuart Bowen, recalled what then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld asked when they met shortly after Bowen started in Janu …"

Army's mishandling of Afghanistan police contract boosted costs

By Zach Toombs

The cost of a billion-dollar program jumps 14 percent in just the first four months.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghan National Army":

"… the last 10 or 11 years, as the U.S. military worked exclusively with the Afghan National Army. Seara said, during that time, development of Afghan law enforcement fell …"

U.S. military admits major war mistakes

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An internal report prepared by the Joint Staff describes failures of leadership and planning in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Articles we find interesting

By R. Jeffrey Smith

National Security articles we find interesting

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… a short, tough-minded list of 10 useful lessons to be drawn at the end of America’s war in Iraq, appearing on Foreign Policy’s website. “It's very har …"

Sending troops home could pave way for more non-competitive defense contracting

By R. Jeffrey Smith

After more than ten years of conflict, and around $1 trillion spent, what will troop drawdown mean for Department of Defense?

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… ng problems, say other government officials and independent experts.As the United States pulls out its remaining 50,000 or so troops after a decade of conflict cos …"

Windfalls of War: A decade of keeping government spending accountable

By Sandy Johnson

Tracking the cost of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, $1 trillion and up

Excerpts from this story referencing "leader":

"… orld Trade Center.The United States went to war to find and kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who had been given refuge by Afghanistan's Taliban leader …"

"… leader Osama bin Laden, who had been given refuge by Afghanistan's Taliban leadership. The Taliban fell quickly; it took another 10 years to kill bin Laden. …"

Windfalls of war: Pentagon's competition for contracts abysmal compared to other agencies

By Sharon Weinberger

Pentagon's record of competitive contracts is poor compared to other agencies

Excerpts from this story referencing "Carl Levin":

"… for 200 weapons as part of its training for the Afghan National Army.Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to Defense Sec …"

The ledger sheet after a decade of war in Afghanistan

By Aaron Mehta

As Obama looks forward on Afghanistan, a look back

State Department will inherit reconstruction duties in Iraq when troops leave

By Laurel Adams

IG questions whether State Department is ready to take over many reconstruction tasks in Iraq

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… e Iraq reconstruction effort. …"

"… once troops leave. The latest report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction reveals daunting transition tasks for State: closing recons …"

"… teams in provincial areas, opening diplomatic posts in volatile regions of Iraq, taking over the police force development and doubling civilian personnel …"

"… rently. These ambitious efforts coincide with a period of instability, in Iraq and across the Middle East. In recent months thousands of Iraqis have prot …"

Policing the world

By Caitlin Ginley and Laurel Adams

U.S. spending on overseas police training has jumped nearly 2,000 percent in the past two decades

Excerpts from this story referencing "Drug Enforcement Administration":

"… since have created loopholes, the GAO said. For example, activities by the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI are exempt. As well, countries that have a “longstanding democra …"

Pentagon negotiates with indicted contractor, despite suspension

By Amy Biegelsen

For the second time this year, the Pentagon is trying to give a no-bid contract extension to a logistics company operating a supply warehous

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Pentagon":

"… om generators to toilet paper to U.S. soldiers throughout the Middle East. The Pentagon had planned to replace Agility with another contractor to operate the ware …"

U.S. embassy in Baghdad needs transition plan for staffing, vehicles

By Laurel Adams

As U.S. troops prepare to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011, the American embassy in Baghdad must make its own transition plans to prote

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… n. (Congressional Research Service) …"

"… in Baghdad must make its own transition plans to protect staff, hire more Iraqi civilians, and manage its fleet of more than 1,000 mostly armored vehicle …"

"… war-time needs, with few cultural affairs officers and little contact with Iraqi civilians, according to the report. The Baghdad embassy submitted a trans …"

"… e several pages discussed staffing, funding, and programs in Pakistan, not Iraq, the inspector general said.The embassy should hand over to the Iraqi gove …"

The struggle to police foreign subcontractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Nick Schwellenbach and Lagan Sebert

To win hearts and minds in Afghanistan and Iraq, military experts want U.S. companies to contract with local firms for a variety of tasks li

Excerpts from this story referencing "Drew Luten":

"… wise did not know how much they spend on foreign subcontractors. USAID’s Drew Luten told the commission that the problem may get worse with the U.S. governmen …"

Despite allegations, no prosecutions for war zone sex trafficking

By Nick Schwellenbach and Carol D. Leonnig

Eight years ago, President George W. Bush issued a stern policy on sex trafficking in war zones — a policy that remains on the books to this

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Washington Post":

"… report is a collaboration between The Center for Public Integrity and The Washington Post. Carol Leonnig is a staff writer for the Post. …"

Audit finds poor controls on millions of dollars in Afghan police program

Pentagon discovers overpayments to contractor, potential for waste

Afghan police training bedeviled by delays

Pentagon to re-bid on Afghan police training contracts and keep spending billions

DynCorp wins contract dispute over Afghan police training

By Christine Spolar

GAO rules in favor of contracting company currently training in Afghanistan

Excerpts from this story referencing "Army":

"… w that effort will be delayed because of a misbegotten attempt by the U.S. Army to shortcut the contract process.The Government Accountability Office Mond …"

"… contract process.The Government Accountability Office Monday told the U.S. Army to start over in its search for bids for a $1.6 billion effort to overhaul …"

"… the process was unfairly skewed toward its rivals.The GAO recommended the Army “conduct a full and open competition” or, under federal regulations, p …"

"… ns, provide justification for a limited competition. The GAO also told the Army to pay DynCorp’s legal costs connected to the protest.    …"

To speed recruits, U.S. cuts Afghan police training to six weeks

By Christine Spolar

Decision prompted by shortages of training camps and instructors

Excerpts from this story referencing "Army":

"… for its instruction. In a telephone interview over the weekend, U.S. Army Col. Randall Cheeseborough, deputy commander of the police-training missio …"

"… er civilian law enforcement.That effort stumbled in the bidding phase. The Army attempted to amend an ongoing program for technology and equipment — a m …"

Military training of Afghan National Police mired in contract dispute

By Christine Spolar

Plan to switch control from state to Pentagon delayed until August

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"… the Afghan national police into a military force with skills to fight the Taliban.The dispute has left the U.S. government continuing to pay millions of dol …"

"… in Afghanistan. The program focused on law enforcement skills. But as the Taliban stepped up its attacks on recruits, U.S. military leaders pushed to includ …"

Former Blackwater employees accuse security contractor of defrauding government

By Nick Schwellenbach and Carol D. Leonnig

Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security contractor of defrauding the government for years through pho

Excerpts from this story referencing "security guard":

"… review.Brad Davis, a former Marine, served as a Blackwater team leader and security guard, including in Iraq. His wife, Melan Davis, worked as a finance and payroll …"

"… ptember 2007 incident in which witnesses told the FBI that the company’s security guards fired guns without provocation into a busy intersection, killing at least …"

Flaws in Iraqi police contract raise questions about Afghan effort

By Christine Spolar

Department of State failed to perform oversight on contract to build Iraqi police force

Excerpts from this story referencing "Claire McCaskill":

"… ing to this report, they have no idea where any of the money went,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chair of a Senate subcommittee that monitors contracting. “What …"