Even with American troops reportedly no longer stationed in Iraq, the Pentagon has submitted a brand new budget request of $2.9 billion for post-operation “activities” in the war-torn nation.
After the U.S. troop drawdown in Iraq was completed in December, a new budget request by the Pentagon, called Post-Operation NEW DAWN (OND)/Iraq Activities (pdf), comes at a time when it has been reported there are no longer any U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. The new budget request likely includes a “black” budget for special operations forces still conducting business there.
Last year, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report stating 5,500 private mercenaries will be used for protecting up to 17,000 civilians in Iraq, employed by the U.S. government.
At the time, John Kerry, chairman of the committee, said top officials in the government should be careful about “replacing a military presence with a private mercenary presence,” according to Wired’s Danger Room.
The new Pentagon request comes after the Special Inspector General for Iraq (SIGIR) announced in January nearly $2 billion being held by the U.S. government for Iraq has gone missing.
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld noted on September 10, 2001 that $2.3 trillion was lost in “Pentagon bureaucracy,” unaccounted for in U.S. overseas operations.