A major difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan lies in Washington’s plan, after pulling out to maintain bases in Afghanistan. But Afghanistan’s neighbours Russia (almost-neighbour), China , Iran , Pakistan — even the puppet government in Kabul — vow that this will not happen. As if on cue, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad invited Karzai and Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari to Tehran this week to a conference on terrorism and for one-on-one talks.
WHILE THE WORLD’S ATTENTION WILL REMAIN RIVETED TO POTENTIAL MILITARY ACTIONS IN PAKISTAN AND THE PERSIAN GULF, THE REAL WAR WILL ERUPT ELSEWHERE, SEEMINGLY OUT OF NOWHERE
THE US WITHDRAWING FROM THE REGION. OH REALLY!
by Peter Chamberlin
After ten years of raging warfare in Afghanistan, watching the fight slowly ooze across the invisible Durand Line into Pakistan, we have the right to wonder whether the war is any closer to ending today. It is perfectly reasonable to suspect that if we were allowed to know the truth we would understand that the American government has no plans to end the war in the near future.
Trying to make sense of relentless Western news reports on the disaster of the impending American “withdrawal from Afghanistan,” even though other reports reveal that super-bases have been constructed, leaving most observers completely bewildered about whether the Afghan war is ending or expanding. The only thing that is obvious is that there is to be no “withdrawal” from Afghanistan, at least not from the northern half of the country (SEE: Plan B In Afghanistan).
If it was true that US forces were planning to eventually leave Afghanistan, then CENTCOM would not be allocating $100 million to build a Special Forces base in Mazar i-Sharif. This is to be a massive, permanent structure, intended to serve as a Special Forces operations center for many years to come.
KBR, Inc. (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) is an American engineering, construction and private military contracting company, formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton, headquartered in Houston. After Halliburton acquired Dresser Industries in 1998, Dresser’s engineering subsidiary, The M. W. Kellogg Co., was merged with Halliburton’s construction subsidiary, Brown & Root, to form Kellogg Brown & Root. KBR and its predecessors have won many contracts with the U.S. military, including during World War II, Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. KBR is the largest non-union construction company in the United States.
The majority of analysts who have focused upon this SOCOM facility, have drawn the conclusion that this and the other super-bases are intended to provide protection to the pipelines which are planned, in addition to providing Green Berets and Navy Seals to send on night raids into Pakistan.
My own research into the subject reveals something far more sinister than just the intentional prolonging of the occupation of Afghanistan.
From the bid solicitations which are cited below, the US Army has big plans for Central Asia, most of them are scheduled to take place after the official Afghan withdrawal date of 2014. Ongoing military construction contracts are proof of military intent. CENTCOM has just awarded KBR a contract for $3.8 billion for constructing unspecified new facilities in an “area of responsibility” which encompasses the following countries:
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
This contract (which is supplemented by the other contracts given below) is something known as a MATOC contract (Multiple Award Task Order Contract). To initiate this major omnibus contract, ninety-nine security-cleared companies were solicited to participate in the contract program, which is scheduled to continue until the year 2016. The majority of these ninety-nine companies specialized in wartime construction, but many of them had exotic specialties, ranging from electronic prototype construction, to aerial drone manufacturing and operations, to private security contractors specializing in “irregular warfare.” There were even a couple of them dealing with “directed energy weaponry,” in addition to one image consultant.
From this list of approved, experienced contractors fourteen construction contractors were selected to form a pool of ready bidders to bid on each project as it reached approval stage. Somehow, since the solicitation was announced, KBR has apparently eliminated the competition, winning the whole construction contract. It was also announced that five electronic contractors would form a bidding pool for the component manufacturing, maintenance and operations of the experimental prototype network. It may turn out, that the electronics are handled like the building, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) may have landed the entire package. (It does seem strange that both contract winners have been charged with wrongdoing on previous contracts.) SAIC has also been awarded another separate contract which is a companion to this big operation:
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE:SAI) and Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEK) announced that their joint venture, Integrated Justice Systems International, LLC (IJSI), has been awarded a contract to render worldwide civilian police and criminal justice assistance to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The total contract limit for this multiple-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is worth $10 billion, consisting one base year and four option years.
To compete for task orders to supply INL with program management, criminal justice, and life and mission support to countries emerging from conflict or otherwise facing instability challenges the abovementioned joint venture was chosen.
IJSI shall render technical assistance, training, logistics and infrastructure services to support the Department of State’s efforts to strengthen criminal justice systems in select partner countries under this new contract. IJSI is one of six teams that can compete for task orders under the contract.
Chuck Zang, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager explained that our joint venture renders the experience required for successful international criminal justice training and worldwide logistics. He added that SAIC has critical experience supporting the U.S. government’s overseas law enforcement initiatives; including antiterrorism training and technical assistance and that they expect to support this important effort, and using their expertise to help ensure stability and safety through professional criminal justice entities, and training personnel to ensure modernization of their programs.
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