Aegis still in the money and back in the news 2

By Ben Russell in The Independent

Tony Blair has been challenged over the “scandal” of vast profits being made by British firms with reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

The Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn attacked the Prime Minister after The Independent revealed that British businesses have profited by at least ‘1.1bn since Saddam Hussein was ousted three years ago. Top earners include the construction firm Amec and the security company Aegis. Heasked: “Does he not think it is time to set a date for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, to end the occupation and end the growing scandal of the huge profits being made by British and American companies from reconstruction and that the continued presence represents more of a problem than a solution?”

Mr Blair said Britain should continue to support Iraq’s efforts to achieve a stable democracy.

See also: The Name Game

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2 thoughts on “Aegis still in the money and back in the news

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Aegis is just another example of the privatisation efforts of New Labour. Note that nearly all of the State's (Our) services which have been privatised have failed in some form or other, suffered from appalling lowering of standards and ultimately proved to be monstrously expensive. Aegis – in effect a PFI Army – is no exception.

    However, Blair and the Americans are doing whatever they can to support American (and, to a lesser extent, British) industries. The reconstruction of Iraq, funded largely by Iraq's oil revenues, is a giant ongoing building operation carried out mostly by companies based in America (and, etc etc Britain).

    Without this revenue many of these companies would find it difficult to scratch a living. So we should appreciate the efforts of our leaders to maintain high employment in these volatile industries.

    Of course, this all will eventually come to a halt as the rebuilding works gradually dry up, so it's particularly heartening to observe that once again these problems have been anticipated and appropriate action taken. Thus one can fully appreciate the wisdom of America launching a new ferocious aerial assault upon the forces of evil, the guerilla groups scattered all over Iraq. With luck this random high-altitude remodelling of the existing infrastructure will provide lucrative reconstruction contracts for our people for decades to come.

    And now the prospect of yet more reconstruction work, this time in Iran, looms on the horizon. We should toast this stroke of genius by our far-sighted and illustrious leaders. Their names will go down in History.

  • Tom Griffin

    It's an interesting question what the PMCs will do as the 'Baghdad bubble' of Government funding dries up. There is a history of PMCs in Africa being funded by business interests to grab resources in disputed areas. Tim Spicer was introduced to the mercenary game by Tony Buckingham, a director of Heritage Oil, which has a concession in Iraqi Kurdistan. I think the presence of a company with their record is worrying given the Kurdish/Arab dispute over the city of Kirkuk, which sits on top of a major oil field.

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