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21 Mär 2023

Iraq: 20 years on from US-led invasion, the companies that profited; incl. co. responses


March 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. The invasion lasted until 2011, with nearly half a million people estimated to have been killed as a result of the war.

During the war, corporations received contracts worth millions from the US Government for services including security, logistics, and military. According to an analysis by the Financial Times, the US spent at least $138 billion on contracts, with the top 10 contractors securing business worth at least $72 billion between them.

Kellogg Brown and Root, a former subsidiary of oil services company Halliburton, was estimated to have received at least $39.5bn in federal contracts related to the Iraq war. Kellogg Brown and Root also received contracts to build prisons at Guantanamo Bay. For example, in 2005, the subsidiary won a $30 million contract to build a new permanent prison, with the final deal estimated to be worth around $500 million.

Another company that reported profits during the invasion was Lockheed Martin, which supplied fighter jets to the US. One year after the invasion, the company reported a 41% rise in profits, owing this to a strong demand for information technology services and warplanes.

In 2007, four security guards hired by the contracted private military firm Blackwater were sentenced to jail after killing 17 people and seriously injuring 20, after open firing at an unarmed crowd in Baghdad, known as the Nisour Square massacre. In 2020, the security guards were pardoned by Donald Trump.

Company comments can be found below.