No one should be excited about the military industrial complex wrongly enriching American defense companies, but it’s understandable that no system is perfect and some of that is unavoidable.
But can someone explain why the military industrial complex has decided instead to enrich Russian companies?!?!
The United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) made exactly that decision in November when it gave a lucrative award to HomeSafe Alliance — despite evidence of ownership by hostile foreign actors, including some in Russia.
HomeSafe has been awarded an exclusive contract for relocating military personnel when they’re transferred, worth $6.2 billion up front and as much as $17.9 billion over the next decade. The company sells itself as “the premier move management service provider for today’s military personnel, DoD civilians, and their families” — and even boasts a website with just the right blend of diversity-approved photos!
What HomeSafe doesn’t brag about is the findings of risk-assessment company Exiger. When competitors for the contract American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group (ARC) and Connected Global Solutions protested the award, Exiger did a report for the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Exiger gave HomeSafe a risk of “Medium-High” for foreign ownership, control and influence (FOCI). HomeSafe is a joint venture of KBR and Tier One Relocation, an entity owned by Sun Capital, whose investment partners include the “Russian government and Russian state-owned companies,” according to the Exiger report, continuing that HomeSafe is 58% beneficially owned by non-U.S. persons “in high-risk jurisdictions like China, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.”
GAO ignored the protest by the two competitors, and gave a monopoly to HomeSafe.
Shuffling servicemembers and their families around is a huge project.
Up until now, the DoD has relied on 900 commercial companies to make about 325,000 shipments annually, costing about $2.2 billion, according to Military Times. There are frequent problems and delays, which make life more difficult for those who routinely uproot their lives as part of keeping our country safe.
Assigning one company to do all of this is — logistically speaking — a good idea.
But the risk-assessment report from Exiger also warned that “foreign intelligence activity could elicit valuable operational information from tracing the movements of US military and special forces personnel around the US or the world.”
The DoD has assigned HomeSafe to know exactly where all our servicemen and women live.
This is so potentially terrible it makes Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan pullout look like just one of his disastrous press conferences.
The government-contracting procurement process is a long, onerous, expensive one. Contracting companies dedicate entire divisions of their company to winning contract vehicles, just to get their foot in the door in order to bid on task orders. All this while fighting off legal challenges — both legitimate and frivolous.
It’s an extremely inefficient process, but the goal is sound: make sure that the people who win large projects on the taxpayer’s dime are reliable, trustworthy and competent. The procurement process is there to circumvent — as much as possible — graft, fraud and waste.
When blunders like this happen, the whole thing seems worthless. It would have just saved time to write a check to Vladimir Putin.
Now, this award was given in November. Even before the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian connection should have been a red flag, but at this point it’s a red light.
If our government is serious about starving Russian oligarchs — and keeping members of the Armed Forces and their families safe — TRANSCOM needs to stop this immediately.
There are plenty of companies owned by Americans, or individuals from allied countries, we can enrich instead. The military industrial complex does serve a purpose; let’s make sure it doesn’t serve Putin’s.
Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. Read Jared Whitley's reports — More Here.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.