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Kit Klarenberg

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Shocking report exposes how US defense contractors have wasted trillions through fraud and corruption

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The newly released ‘Profits of War’ report from Brown University has revealed in staggering detail the full extent of the corruption unleashed by Washington’s profligate defense spending during the 20-year War on Terror.

It notes that since the start of the intervention in Afghanistan in October 2001, Pentagon spending has totalled $14 trillion, with the US war budget increasing between 2002 and 2003 by more than the entire military spending of any other country. Between one-third and one-half of that total was pocketed by defense firms, which provided logistics and reconstruction, private security services and weapons – along the way, these contractors habitually engaged in “questionable or corrupt business practices,” including fraud, abuse, price-gouging and profiteering.

Wartime conditions meant standard contract processes were circumvented – bidders, bids, and subsequent delivery weren’t subject to significant oversight, so fleecing the Pentagon was extremely easy, particularly for well-connected companies with government ties.

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman have in recent years been awarded between a quarter to a third of all Pentagon contracts. It’s surely no coincidence that four of the past five US Defense Secretaries previously worked at one of the ‘big five’.
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US regime-change agency NED admits its role in the strife in Belarus, but leaked documents also implicate the UK Foreign Office

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The full extent of Western meddling in Belarus prior to the country’s contested August 2020 election may never be known. Yet the outlines of a wide-ranging foreign effort to destabilize the government are becoming ever clearer.

As RT reported earlier this week, a pair of Russian pranksters posing as Belarusian opposition figures have duped high-ranking representatives of US regime-change arm the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) into exposing the extent of Washington’s clandestine involvement in the unrest that erupted across the country throughout 2020.

Among other bombshell disclosures, Nina Ognianova, who oversees the NED’s work with local groups in the country, suggested “a lot of the people” who were “trained” and “educated” via the organization’s various endeavors there were pivotal to “the events, or the build-up to the events, of last summer.”

Long-time NED chief Carl Gershman – who in September 2013, less than six months prior to the coup that shifted Kiev’s political orientation, dubbed Ukraine “the biggest prize” for Washington – added that his organization was working with controversial opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and her team “very, very closely.” In all, the agency bankrolled at least 159 civil society initiatives in Belarus, costing $7,690,689, from 2016 to 2020 alone.
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