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Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War Hardcover – February 3, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chatterjee (Iraq Inc.) delves into the nebulous world of the Houston-based Halliburton corporation, tracing the company to its roots, when a fortuitous meeting with a young Lyndon Baines Johnson propelled the Brown and Root Company (which later merged with Halliburton) into Washington power politics. The author details the military contracting that largely funded the company through WWII and into the present-day war in Iraq, intertwining the company's history with the biographies of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other officials in the Bush administration. Chatterjee provides a laundry list of abuses for which the company has been investigated, including inflated billing of the Pentagon, providing unsafe living conditions for U.S. soldiers, labor exploitation and coverups to avoid congressional inquiry. He concludes with a look at the whistleblowers that brought these scandals into the public eye and the repercussions of the eventual congressional investigation. Chatterjee keeps the pace of the narrative at a quick clip and nimbly marshals his extensive evidence to reveal—without sanctimony or stridency—Halliburton's record of corruption, political manipulation and human rights abuses. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A sordid tale of politics and profiteering, courtesy of the Bush administration and a compliant military... A report that deserves many readers, about many matters that deserve many indictments." -Kirkus 'In a calm and measured but insistent voice, Chatterjee charts the pattern of wrongdoing built into KBR from its origins in the late Thirties... If the dust finally does settle over Iraq, while moving onto Afghanistan, the new secretary of state may well find many more questions to ask about the company's conduct in recent years. President Obama's track record suggests that her boss too will be wanting some answers. Anyone reading this important book will be demanding answers too.'-The Telegraph" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 1 edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568583923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568583921
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By George Bush HALL OF FAME on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Halliburton's Army" provides detailed stories of corporate theft, bribery, and malfeasance that cry out for prosecutorial attention.

The author begins by relating the rapid growth of military privatization - from about 1% of those serving in the 1991 Operation Desert Storm to today's Operation enduring Freedom, where the number of contractors is about equal the number of military personnel.

The program was supposed to cut about 15% of military administrative staff and about $3 billion/year, as first proposed by Don Rumsfeld. The rationale made sense - a huge organization cannot be excellent in everything, and some military tasks such as feeding the troops, washing their clothes, providing messenger and mail service, and general logistics could likely be better provided by experts in those areas.

However, the program immediately fell victim to the same problem it was supposed to avoid - How can a single company, Halliburton, be expert in not only oil drilling but also large-scale logistics, feeding, etc.? In addition, the profit-incentive and pressures of wartime led to no-bid contracts and every form of skulduggery, penny-pinching and pressure known to keep the contracts and profits flowing.

"Halliburton's Army" begins citing how $5,000/day oil-well fire-fighters were brought in, despite the Kuwaiti's offering to do the job for free out of gratitude for Gulf War I and concern for their own environment. The situation rapidly deteriorated - potential whistle-blowers demoted or other wise threatened, overheads running 43-55%, overcharges for fuel - $2.64/gallon, vs. a local Iraqi source at .96/gallon (or even an internal Defense Dept. source at $1.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Herstory on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Halliburton's Army by Pratap Chatterjee is so mind boggling that it jars the reader's brain as one attempts to assimilate the facts put forth.
There are scathing exposes' of those who had a hand in the daily running of this company. However, none match the abject evil of Richard Burton Cheney.

This is a book that shows what happens when companies are allowed to do as they choose without the benefit of checks and balances. There are no words to describe how poorly KBR/Halliburton have served this nation's troops- or have NOT served this nation's troops in their obsession to squeeze every nickel possible out of a no bid contract which they got The Evil One - Cheney to push thru early on in the Bush Administration.

Perhaps the most troubling of all events noted in this book is the documented mistreatment of KBR/Halliburton's employees, to include Americans, who got to Iraq to find out things were not as they were described as they hired on.

This is a troubling book, one that really makes a taxpayer wonder how did we allow these crooks to continually fleece America for many, many years!
The Pentagon did not stop them and interestingly enough, most of the whistleblowers are women!

For those who want a serious view of what has been happening to erode the image of America, this is a must read book!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Garcia on March 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I can relate thoroughly with many findings of this book, dating to Viet Nam and then having worked in Iraq for KBR/Haliburton. I talked with those construction guys back in Nam working on the base I was finally stationed at and then I lived the real deal in Iraq. Most of those guys were doing so many illegal things on the side ~ that would be hard to prove and then I was also privy to the "so-called" investagitors coming after-the-fact, and covering up and losing information. What a deal to live, see, and experience something that will live longer than muself.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cory Geurts on March 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Chatterjee quickly catches the reader's attention with a series of interesting snapshots of the people and services of Halliburton and its subsidiaries in Iraq in the Introduction and Chapter 1. Starting with Chapter 2, he gets into the history of Halliburton, and as the story unfolds, Chatterjee reveals the political connections - from both parties, starting with LBJ and going up to Cheney/Rumsfeld - that has enabled Halliburton to evolve and thrive over several decades. As the book progresses, he gets deeper into Halliburton's involvement in the `Global War on Terror' (Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Guantanamo, etc.) and effectively explains how this company, as the title says, "...revolutionized the way America makes war." Also covered in detail are the whistle-blowing, the resulting Congressional grilling, and the remarkable resiliency of this company despite the negative publicity, public outcry, and growing opposition to the Iraq war.

This book is objective because the author presents both sides of the military privatization issue: quotes from underpaid, uninsured contractors as well as from enthusiastic employees. You read criticism from media reports and high praise from military commanders. Readers can see both the pros and the cons of this new way of operating a war with soldiers doing military tasks, and outsourcing support services to the private sector. Chatterjee does a good job of presenting differing views and letting readers come to their own conclusions.

I learned a lot reading this book. Before, I had no idea how widespread the cancerous corruption is, or what LOGCAP meant.
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