“The Bush administration wanted an effective ‘puppet government’ in Iraq, which allows the U.S. to run the show.”
War, devastation, and who’s cashing in on them
What’s the relation between a multinational conglomerate like General Electric (GE) and the Iraq war? How do governments, compared to the Bush administration, help companies take advantage of devastated countries involved in wars or recovering from natural disasters? How do credit companies, such as MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, turn a profit from the earthquake in Haiti? All of these questions revolve around a derogatory term: profiteering.
Profiteering—the act of making unreasonable profit by means deemed unethical—has become a more prominent issue since the start of Afghanistan and Iraq wars and in response to the increasingly frequent natural disasters. In particular, the Iraq war has brought about greater awareness to the issue of benefiting unethically.
Albeit the Iraq war cost nearly $3 trillion to the U.S. economy, the war has brought about some winners. For everyone from military contractors to construction companies to suppliers of bodyguards and ammunition, the war in Iraq has been a lucrative “cash cow”.
Arguably, one such company that has greatly benefited from the war in Iraq is KBR Inc., formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton. It’s reported that KBR, one of the largest construction and oilfield service companies in the world, gained $17.2 billion in revenue from 2003 to 2006. This is estimated to be about one-fifth of KBR’s revenue in 2006.