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Empire's LaborThe Global Army That Supports U.S. Wars$

Adam Moore

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501742170

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501742170.001.0001

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(p.199) Notes

(p.199) Notes

Empire's Labor

Adam Moore

Cornell University Press

1. Military Contracting, Foreign Workers, and War

Epigraph: Julie Greene, “Builders of Empire: Rewriting the Labor and Working-Class History of Anglo-American Global Power,” 3.

(2.) Cam Simpson (2018) has chronicled—in beautiful and evocative detail—the lives and deaths of the Nepalese men, as well as repercussions on families back home and the subsequent decade of lawsuits in U.S. courts. For more contemporaneous reporting on these events, see Dhruba and Rohde 2004; Bell 2004; T. Miller 2006.

(3.) Schwartz 2010. A copy of the November 2008 report, as well as all of the other quarterly censuses, can be downloaded at http://www.acq.osd.mil/log/ps/centcom_reports.html. For a map of CENTCOM’s AOR, see http://www.centcom.mil/images/stories/unified-command_world-map.jpg.

(4.) Roberts 2014. For a detailed analysis of one USAID contractor project in Afghanistan, see Attewell 2017.

(5.) Raw contracting census data from Iraq (see chapter 2), for example, indicates that the number of contractors in that country increased from nearly 137,000 in 3rd quarter 2007 to more than 149,000 in 2nd quarter 2008, and reached its peak at the end of 2008. This corresponds with the peak in the average monthly number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq, which also occurred in 2008. For more on this, see Belasco 2009.

(6.) This graph is based on data from all published quarterly censuses beginning in 2008. Reports can be found at http://www.acq.osd.mil/log/ps/centcom_reports.html.

(7.) See, for example, Scahill 2008.

(8.) On sovereignty and the monopoly of violence, see Avant 2005; Verkuil 2007; Krahmann 2013; McFate 2015. On state control and accountability, see Singer 2008; Isenberg 2008; Bruneau 2011. On effectiveness, see Dunigan 2011. On ethical and moral implications, see Pattison 2014; Eckert 2016. One significant exception to this policy-centric focus is an emerging literature that examines the intersection of gender, race, and masculinity with private security contractors. See, for example, Joachim and Schneiker 2012; Higate 2012a; Eichler 2013, 2014, 2015; Stachowitsch 2014; Chisholm 2014a; Chisholm and Stachowitsch 2017.

(10.) Fontaine and Nagl 2010, 9. Fontaine and Nagl derived these figures from an analysis conducted by the U.S. Army’s Center for Military History on behalf of the Commission on Wartime Contracting for Iraq and Afghanistan (CWC), which is the most widely cited analysis of wartime contracting ratios.

(11.) This book focuses on logistics contracting by the U.S. military. Relatively less research has been devoted to logistics contracting by its Western allies, though they too increasingly rely upon contractors to support overseas operations, such as the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. This reliance on contractors is especially true of the United Kingdom, which has moved toward the U.S. model for logistics contracting in recent years, as evidenced by the introduction of its own multiyear Contractor Logistics contract patterned after the LOGCAP program in 2004. See (p.200) Kinsey and Erbel 2011. For more on UK and NATO logistics contracting, see Kinsey 2009; Cusumano 2018.

(14.) Quoted in Farrand 2006, 1.

(15.) For more on the operational link between RMA and logistics outsourcing, see Erbel and Kinsey 2018.

(16.) On urban battlespaces, see Graham 2009. On war in borderlands and ungoverned spaces, see Bachmann 2010; Mitchell 2010; I. Shaw 2013; I. Shaw and Akhter 2012. On lawfare and lawful targets, see Gregory 2006; Khalili 2012; Weizman 2012; Jones 2015, 2016.

(19.) For data on U.S. military casualties, see http://icasualties.org. For information on contractor deaths, see Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Program n.d. The Department of Labor is required by the Defense Base Act to track overseas contractor injuries and deaths for the purposes of providing compensation. It should be noted that the number of contractor casualties—especially injuries—is likely higher than the data indicate as it is incumbent upon companies to report these figures and there is evidence of underreporting by firms, especially subcontractors.

(24.) Embassy Kuwait 2004e, 2004f.

(28.) Vine 2015, 3. See also, Lutz 2008. This said, as Catherine Lutz (2006, 595) points out, it is important not to forget that the U.S. is a settler colonial state that also still maintains a number of overseas island colonies, such as Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(29.) Go 2011, 9. For more on informal empire, see M. Mann 2012, 18–19.

(33.) Greene 2015, 1. For more on this emerging field of inquiry, see Greene 2016. For prominent examples of this research, see Greene 2009; Poblete 2014; Lipman 2008. Following Neil Smith (2003), I view the American Century as beginning with the events of 1898—including, most pertinently for this story, the beginning of U.S. colonial rule in the Philippines—though the phrase was first coined by Henry Luce more than four decades later.

2. From Camp Followers to a Global Army of Labor

Epigraph: Robert Gates, Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, 20.

(2.) UN 2014. For more on the rise of international securitized responses to infectious diseases, see Davies 2008.

(p.201) (3.) Obama 2016.

(19.) Wilson 2006, 3, and chap. 3.

(26.) For an excellent discussion of the tensions between “grunts” and “REMFs” in Vietnam, see Lair 2001, chap. 1.

(27.) Huston 1996, 384. Chung (2019) provides a detailed account of these labor dynamics.

(28.) Huston 1996, 646. Thousands of Korean workers and several Korean companies subsequently provided logistics support for the U.S. military in the Vietnam War, a fascinating parallel (and precursor) to the case of Bosnians who began working for the military in the postwar peacekeeping mission in Bosnia before moving on to new jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more on this, see Chung 2019.

(30.) For more on this, see Huston 1989, chaps. 15 and 16.

(34.) Raymond International and Morrison-Knudsen (RMK) held the original contract construction contracts. When demands ramped up too fast for the two firms to keep up with they invited Brown & Root and J.A. Jones Construction to join them. See Carter 2008, 158. Carter claims that RMK-BRJ was the “sole contractor” for construction projects in Vietnam, but this is inaccurate. PAE was a key construction contractor for the Army, while the Air Force relied on Walter Kidde Construction to help build its Tuy Hoa Air Base. For more on this, see Dunn 1972, 27; Traas 2010, 109.

(35.) Quoted in Carter 2008, 184.

(37.) For more on ties between Johnson and Brown & Root, see Caro 1990.

(38.) Quoted in Carter 2008, 239.

(39.) For more on this transformation by Rumsfeld, see Beasley 2019.

(p.202) (42.) DoD 1992, 727.

(43.) Among other activities, SCCC operated the dining facilities at Camp Bucca, a detainee prison in southern Iraq. In 1990 it provided food for American soldiers at the main logistics base in Damman. See Fialka 1990.

(44.) Dickinson 2011, 29.

(45.) As Jennifer Mittelstadt (2015) has shown, the privatization revolution left the military relatively unscathed during Reagan’s administration. In fact, during this time there was a marked increase in the provision of social welfare services by the military, which were viewed as essential for the recruitment and retention of service members following the introduction of an all-volunteer force in 1973.

(51.) GAO 1997, 2.

(54.) GAO 1997, 4 and 11.

(59.) In 2006 the Navy split its CONCAP program into two components, a Global Contingency Construction Contract, which focuses on overseas construction projects, and a Global Contingency Services Contract, which is used to provide logistics and base support services.

(62.) By the end of the Clinton administration the federal government had shed nearly 400,000 jobs from its payroll, and was spending 44 percent more on contractors than in 1993. For more on military and intelligence privatization during the Clinton administration, see Shorrock 2008, chap. 3.

(63.) Defense Science Board Task Force 1996. See the August 27 memorandum by Chairman Philip Odeen on pp. 5–6.

(67.) Despite assumptions that outsourcing leads to substantial cost savings, evidence suggests that the cost benefits are mixed at best. See Stanger 2009, 94–98.

(77.) Serafino 2001; Department of State 2001.

(p.203) (78.) Waddell 2009, 172. According to one estimate, by the late 1970s 75 percent of the Army’s combat service support capabilities belonged to reserve components. See Stollenwerk 1998, 12.

(80.) See Schooner and Swan 2012, and Propublica’s investigative series at https://www.propublica.org/series/disposable-army.

(84.) When the 2004 visa ban crisis crippled transportation operations into Iraq, PWC was greatly affected as nearly 60 percent of its 1,500 drivers were from India and the Philippines. See Embassy Kuwait 2004c.

(85.) Chatterjee 2009, 133. According David Vine (2015, 218–20), who conducted an extensive analysis of Pentagon contracts performed outside of the U.S. between 2001 and 2013, the five largest contractors as determined by value of contracts were all logistics contractors: 1) KBR (LOGCAP), 2) Supreme Group (DLA), 3) PWC/Agility (DLA), 4) Dyn-Corp (LOGCAP), and 5) Fluor (LOGCAP). In total he estimates these five companies earned nearly $80 billion.

(87.) For a detailed overview of these claims, see C. Smith 2012, chap. 6.

(93.) See, for example, Cha 2004; Phinney 2005; Simpson 2005a, 2005b; Rohde 2004.

(95.) Copies of these data, which were obtained following a FOIA request by journalists, are accessible at CENTCOM’s FOIA reading room: https://www2.centcom.mil/sites/foia/rr/default.aspx. I have also posted copies of these quarterly censuses on my academia.edu webpage (https://ucla.academia.edu/AdamMoore).

(97.) Unfortunately it is not possible to compare these data on contracting personnel with the size of contracts. While there are government websites and databases (e.g., fbo.gov and usaspending.gov) providing information on military contracting and expenditures, they are incomplete. Moreover, in the case of subcontracting, the legal principle of “privity of contract” means that agreements between prime contractors like KBR and their subcontractors are subject to drastically lower degrees of transparency and oversight. Therefore, these data provide, as far as I am aware, the most detailed information on subcontracting in contingency operations that exists to date. For more on this, see Tyler 2012.

(98.) Several accounts, including an earlier work of mine (Moore 2017), inaccurately identify GCC as a Saudi company. But legal documents from a lawsuit between GCC and KBR identify the former as a Kuwaiti firm. See Duroni 2013. Eventually GCC became a subsidiary of PWC. See C. Smith 2012, 89, and Project on Government Oversight n.d.

(100.) Following the LOGCAP IV award, Fluor and DynCorp took over KBR’s operations in Afghanistan, but for continuity purposes the military decided that KBR should continue to provide logistical services in Iraq under the LOGCAP III contract until the withdrawal of troops in 2011.

(102.) The six geographic combatant commands are also known as unified combatant commands (UCCs). In total there are ten UCCs, six organized according to specified AORs—the geographic combatant commands—and four along a “functional” basis: Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), Strategic Command, Special Operations Command, and Cyber Command.

3. Colonial Legacies and Labor Export

Epigraph: Alfred McCoy, Policing America’s Empire, 18.

(3.) Quoted in Go 2007.

(4.) Though rarely mentioned, the full title of Kipling’s poem is “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands.”

(5.) This quote comes from Justice Harlan’s dissent in Downes v. Bidwell, one of the Insular Cases through which the Supreme Court decided the political and legal status of the newly acquired colonies and their peoples. The dissent can be found at http://www.supremelaw.org/decs/downes/Justice.Harlan.dissent.htm.

(6.) Kennedy is quoted in Eakin 2002. See also Go (2005), who argues that the Louisiana Purchase provided key political and legal precedents for overseas territorial possessions.

(8.) Poblete 2014, 106. For more on the recruiting process and experiences of Filipino laborers in Hawaii, see also chaps. 2 and 4.

(18.) In 1907 this comparison was suggested by an American officer following a visit to observe British forces in Agra, India. See Purviance 1907.

(23.) Quoted in, Dodd 1968, 41. Remarkably, the original draft circulated by the U.S. military in 1946 also tried to claim exclusive jurisdiction over U.S. personnel for any offenses committed while off base. This was a step too far for both Philippine negotiators and DoS officials, who convinced the military to remove this language. For a detailed account of base negotiations, amendments to the original agreement, and jurisdictional questions raised by a number of legal cases, see Berry 1980.

(25.) N. Williams 1987. According to a 1977 GAO report, pay for Filipino employees at bases ranged from 54 percent higher than prevailing wages for clerks to 111 percent for security guards. See GAO 1977, 6.

(p.205) (27.) On Guam, see Flores 2015; Woods 2016. Wake Island, according to one account, “hummed with activity” between the 1950s and 1970s, including a “large contingent of Filipino employees” brought in by a U.S. contractor. See Gilbert 2012, 310.

(29.) Bandjunis 2001, 194. For a detailed history of the U.S. military’s presence at Diego Garcia, see Vine 2009. Presently, roughly 2,500 contractors work at Diego Garcia, the vast majority of them Filipinos paid as little as $2,200 a year. See McQue 2017.

(31.) On U.S. empire and its overseas bases, see especially Chalmers 2004; Oldenziel 2011; Vine 2015.

(32.) Gregory 2006, 411. On Guantanamo, see also Kaplan 2005. On Diego Garcia, see also Vine 2009.

(40.) Paddock 2006. For a full analysis of Arroyo’s rhetorical positioning of OFWs as the Philippines’ primary global export, see Serquina Jr. 2016.

(47.) Quote comes from transcript of 2005 interview conducted by Lee Wang and Lucille Quiambao.

(52.) Excerpts from this speech are cited in Choy 2003, 115–16.

(55.) The embassy’s remarks are cited by Woods 2016, 143. See also Flores 2015.

(63.) For a full list of bilateral labor agreements, see POEA n.d.

(67.) Cited in Tyner 2005, 88.

(p.206) (69.) O’Connell 2003.

(73.) PPI’s award language is cited in Chatterjee 2009, 146. AES proudly notes their award on their website (www.angloeuropean.com.ph/#).

4. The Wages of Peace and War

(1.) In 2006, when Goran quit his police job, 600 Bosnian marks was roughly the equivalent of $375 per month.

(3.) Disagreement over who would be accorded control over the Brčko area nearly scuttled the peace negotiations in 1995. At the last minute a deal was made to have the issue resolved through international arbitration within a year of signing the Dayton Peace Agreement. A final decision on Brčko’s status was ultimately delayed until 1999 when the arbitral tribunal declared that the entirety of the former opština (a Yugoslav unit of local government similar to a municipality or county) would become an autonomous District. For more on this, see Moore 2013.

(6.) A December 1996 paper on privatization from the Center for Naval Analyses claims that Brown & Root alone hired 6,700 workers in its first year of operations, though it does not indicate the source of this figure. See Stafford and Jondrow 1996, 5. Brown & Root was the largest PMC in Bosnia, but it was just one of many U.S. and Bosnian firms supporting the peacekeeping mission, which makes 10,000 a conservative estimate in my view. A similar hiring boom—and subsequent migration of workers to the Middle East and Afghanistan—occurred in towns in Kosovo and Macedonia near the massive Camp Bond-steel base established by the U.S. military as part of the Kosovo Force peacekeeping mission. For more on the Macedonian context, see K. Brown 2010.

(10.) The most notorious examples of the emergent sex industry in northeast Bosnia were the brothels and trafficking operations at the Arizona market near Brčko. For more on sex trafficking and peacekeeping in the Balkans, see Mendelson 2005. For more on the Arizona market, including the relationship between it and U.S. peacekeeping forces, see Moore Forthcoming.

(16.) DynCorp’s classification is evident in multiple company documents I have acquired.

(17.) Fluor’s tier system was explained to me by several former workers. Data on the pay differentials comes from a September 2009 company document titled “FGG Contingency Operations: Salary Structure—Tier II/Tier III/Tier IV.” Copy on file with author.

(19.) Another sign of Bosnians’ lower status while working with DynCorp is that the company allowed workers to take leaves just twice a year, and only paid for the cost of the flights for the first leave—unlike Fluor and KBR, which paid for the flights for all three granted leaves.

(p.207) (20.) C. Baker 2012.

(21.) On the existential dimensions of precarity, see Ettlinger 2007.

(22.) On the importance of investigating the various political and institutional contexts involved in the production of precarity, see Waite 2009.

(25.) As Asim Mujkić (2016) notes, leaders of the 2014 protests also drew lessons from the JMBG (short for “Unique Master Citizen Number”) protests the previous year, which centered on criticism of politicians’ handling of a dispute concerning whether the country’s identification numbers issued at birth should designate the ethnicity of citizens. The political deadlock lasted for months, resulting in thousands of citizens unable to obtain birth certificates, passports, and health insurance documents. For an excellent collection of analyses of the 2014 protests, see Arsenijević 2014.

(26.) See, for example, Kurtović 2015. On politics in Tuzla, see Armakolas 2011.

5. Supplying War

Epigraph: Martin van Creveld, Supplying War, 1.

(7.) This information comes from online contractor résumés. Following Trevor Paglen (2009), I refer to this as “résumé intelligence” or RESUMINT. Online contractor and military personnel résumés offer especially rich veins of information on the various operations and activities conducted by the U.S. military around the world over the past decade. This said, I have decided not to provide links to individual résumés in the footnotes. There are two reasons for this. First, they can be easily altered. Second, the information they reveal constitutes breaches of operational security on the part of contractors and military personnel, therefore creating the risk of personal repercussions. However, full webpage PDFs of all pertinent résumés have been created and copies remain on file with the author. For more on RESUMINT, see Paglen 2009, 70–74.

(10.) This definition draws from Deborah Cowen’s (2013, 8–9) discussion of logistics space.

(11.) Belanger and Arroyo 2012. On US military infrastructural investments in the Arabian Peninsula in the 20th century, see Khalili 2018.

(16.) For more geographical analyses of the inherent conflicts and tensions involved in logistics and the circulation of goods around the world, see Chua et al. 2018.

(18.) Santora 2009. As Lair Meredith (2001, chap. 1) demonstrates, luxuriously appointed wartime bases first appeared in the Vietnam War, with contractors also playing a key role in their construction and operations.

(19.) In six cases I have agglomerated data from bases or sites that were separated out in the raw data tables, but were adjoined and/or overlapping on the ground, and thus (p.208) functioned more or less as a single base. These are (1) Diamondback and Marez (surrounding Mosul Airfield); (2) Victory Base Complex surrounding Baghdad International Airport, including camps Victory, Liberty, Radwaniyah Palace, Mayberry, Cropper, and Slayer; (3) Kirkurk and Warrior (surrounding Kirkuk Air Base); (4) IZ sites, including the IZ complex, Tigris, and Freedom Rest; (5) Basra and Harper (surrounding Basra Airfield); and (6) a military training ground east of Baghdad that cycled through a variety of names during the occupation, including Shakoosh, Butler Range, Besmaya Range, and Hammer.

(24.) Embassy Kuwait 2007d, 2009.

(25.) Embassy Kuwait 2009. As extensive as U.S. military use of Kuwaiti facilities was in 2009, it appears to have paled in comparison to the beginning of the war according to a 2003 cable that details a much more extensive presence, including the estimate that Kuwait had “set aside approximately 70 percent of its total land area for U.S. military training and bed-down” that year. See Embassy Kuwait 2003.

(26.) Embassy Kuwait 2005. Prior to the MOU a series of ad hoc agreements had governed border-crossing procedures. Due to a handful of disagreements leading to temporary border closures in the previous two years, negotiating the MOU was a priority for the military and DoS.

(27.) Embassy Kuwait 2007b. This cable, which was written before operations began at Khabari, stated that contractor conveys would still be subject to inspections. But this is contradicted by a 2009 military logistics article which states that “the Khabari Crossing, unlike Navistar, would operate as a throughput for convoys, not a staging yard. Staging would take place at other bases before heading for Khabari Crossing. At the new crossing, the previous convoy receptions, inspections, and consent procedures would no longer be used. Instead, civilian transporters would be issued a coalition crossing card—a plastic photo identification card with a bar code containing information linked to the Kuwaiti immigration and customs databases.” See Walker 2009.

(32.) Jet fuel (JP8) is also used by the military as fuel for M1 Abrams tanks, and for cooking, heating, etc.

(33.) McNulty 2009, slide 15.

(41.) For a detailed analysis of U.S.-Pakistan relations, see Kronstadt 2011.

(42.) The most comprehensive and updated data on drone strikes in Pakistan are produced by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NAfjFonM-Tn7fziqiv33HlGt09wgLZDSCP-BQaux51w/edit#gid=1000652376. For a detailed history of drone strikes in Pakistan from the early years to the peak of operations (p.209) in 2010, see B. Williams 2010. On the exceptional status of FATA in Pakistan, see I. Shaw and Akhter 2012.

(44.) Following the closure of Manas by Kyrgyzstan in 2014—in part due to pressure from Russia—the military began using a Romanian air base, referred to as MK, near the port of Constanta as its primary transit center for troops entering and exiting Afghanistan. See Nickel 2014.

(47.) For earlier instantiations of NDN routes, see Kuchins et al. 2009, 9–10; Cooley 2012, 44. On Russia’s decision to close off the northern line, see Daly 2015.

(49.) Whitlock 2011. Data on shipment costs come from a TRANSCOM document, dated June 21, 2011, that responded to questions submitted by Whitlock in advance of the above story. This document is part of a large batch of NDN-related material made public following FOIA requests that can be accessed at the command’s FOIA reading room. See http://www.ustranscom.mil/foia/reading_room_arc.cfm#hideD.

(51.) At the peak of operations in 2011–12, roughly 70 percent of NDN cargo entered Afghanistan through Uzbekistan. See Kuchins and Sharan 2015, 105.

(57.) On this distribution process, see Rackuaskas 2008, 14 and 17. Multiple Bosnian contractors I interviewed mentioned the cooling yards in Afghanistan. A description of this process is also provided by Task Force Currahee 2014, 41.

(58.) McNulty 2009, slides 15 and 17.

(59.) Contract language cited in Tierney 2010, 10.

(62.) Roston 2009. In addition to Tierney’s (2010) congressional report, Roston’s reporting was subsequently substantiated by an internal U.S. Army investigation. See DeYoung 2011.

(67.) On the decision to avoid supplying military escorts for Afghan truckers, see McDonnell and Novack 2004.

(69.) For a detailed account of the lily pad strategy in Africa and other parts of the world, see Vine 2015, chap. 16.

(71.) See, for example, King, Moss, and Pittman 2014.

(72.) In addition to U.S. military drone bases on the continent, the CIA also operates at least one drone facility, in Dirkou, Niger. See Penney et al 2018.

(p.210) (75.) Moore and Walker 2016, 697. Camp Gilbert was reportedly used as a staging site for SOF missions in Somalia. See Schmitt and Mazzetti 2008.

(78.) From 2007 to 2012 Creeksand flights flew from Burkina Faso and Mauritania, and also provided ISR coverage over Mali and Niger. The Tuskersand operation (beginning in 2009) was part of a multinational campaign against the Lord’s Resistance Army. Tuskersand was based in Uganda, with flights providing ISR coverage over parts of South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. See Moore and Walker 2016.

(82.) For more on LOGCAP contracting and the use of LOGCAP contractors, see Moore 2017.

(83.) A copy of the solicitation is on file with the author.

(84.) On training at Camp Singo, see Whitlock 2012b.

(86.) Cornella et al. 2005b, viii. The number of CSLs in Africa mushroomed from a total of four in 2005 (Senegal, Ghana, Gabon, and Uganda) to thirteen in 2011 (Senegal, Gabon, Uganda, Ghana, Algeria, Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, and Zambia). See Cornella et al 2005b and Ploch 2011. An unclassified 2018 AFRICOM briefing obtained by Nick Turse (2018) suggests that the number is now similar (twelve) but their composition has evolved. However, in my view the AFRI-COM briefing functions more as a disinformation device than a true accounting of U.S. military presence on the continent. The three largest U.S. drone bases on the continent (Niamey, Chabelly and Agedez), for example, are labeled as CSLs, while two others (Garoua and Bizerte) are absent from the map. Moreover, a key SOF base in Kenya (Manda Bay) is listed as CSL even though its runway is too short to accommodate most large military and civilian transport planes. Finally, in responding to Turse’s inquiries the Pentagon refused to acknowledge whether or not its tally is exhaustive—which it clearly isn’t. Consequently figure 5.4. highlights only sites that have been confirmed as CSLs through previous sources.

(87.) See Dickey 2013. According to a 2015 military presentation, at least two of the Operation New Normal Marine staging bases (Libreville and Accra) are supported by LOGCAP contractors. See U.S. Army 2015, 32, 33, and 65.

(89.) On Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, Niger, and Spain, see Seck 2015; on Uganda and Djibouti, see Reif 2014; on Italy, see Vandiver 2014.

(90.) On strategic airlift channels, see Moore and Walker 2016, 698.

(93.) On Mali, see Whitlock 2012a; on Burkina Faso, see Campbell 2015.

6. Assembling a Transnational Workforce

(1.) This definition of migration infrastructures comes from Xiang and Lindquist 2014, 122. For more on the concept of “migration infrastructures”—particularly in Asia—see Lin et al. 2017; Hirsh 2017; Lindquist 2017.

(p.211) (2.) The prominent role played by recruiting agencies, or labor brokers, is not unique to the Philippines. Indeed labor brokers are a critical—perhaps the critical—node of migration infrastructure for labor-exporting and-importing states in Asia, a fact that has generated increased scholarly attention in recent years. For more on this, see Lindquist, Xiang, and Yeoh 2012; Molland 2012; Kern and Muller-Boker, 2015; Lindquist 2012, 2015, 2017.

(4.) Guevarra 2010, 92. For a more expansive account of the recruiting process, see chap. 4.

(7.) It is worth noting that following the imposition of travel bans in 2004, Serka evolved toward a body shop, expanding its services for the military in Iraq from food service to ice plant operations, water purification treatment, laundry services, and administrative support.

(9.) These quotes are from a 2011 deposition of KBR’s former vice president of accounting and finance, Government Infrastructure Division, William Walter. See C. Miller 2012.

(10.) Quote comes from transcript of 2005 interview conducted by Lee Wang and Lucille Quiambao.

(12.) Quote comes from transcript of 2005 interview conducted by Lee Wang and Lucille Quiambao.

(13.) Embassy Manila 2004a, 2004b.

(14.) This said, a handful of people I interviewed—such as Rena and Srdjan—were hired by other military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan during this period.

(16.) For the original articles, see “Regruteri” 2017; Brkić 2012; Slavnić 2013.

(17.) Claudio Minca and Chin-Ee Ong (2016) provide an interesting examination of an earlier example of the use of hotels in Amsterdam to facilitate the transnational movement of labor. The broader observation about the underexamined geo-economic and geopolitical significance of hotels comes from Lisa Smirl’s (2015) work on the spaces of aid, and from Sara Fregonese and Adam Ramadan’s (2015) call for more focus on the geopolitics of hotels.

(19.) For an account of the robbery, see Agarib 2015. One of the most notorious gangs in the world, the Pink Panthers are estimated to have made off with $500 million in jewelry over the years. Their exploits were the subject of the 2013 documentary film Smash & Grab directed by Havana Marking. For more on the gang see, Simon 2014.

(22.) Cowen 2013, 2; italics in original.

(23.) Alderton et al 2004. For more out flags of convenience, labor outsourcing, and the decline of labor standards in the shipping industry, see Bloor and Sampson 2009.

7. Dark Routes

(2.) Quotations in this and the subsequent paragraph come from Embassy New Delhi 2004.

(10.) Owens 2007. For more on First Kuwaiti’s trafficking of workers and other labor abuses committed on the Embassy project, see Phinney 2006.

(13.) The name of the employee has been redacted to protect his identity. Copy of contract on file with the author.

(19.) See Propublica’s remarkable series of articles on the disposable army of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan at https://www.propublica.org/series/disposable-army.

(20.) See Wise 2013. For more on subcontracting and labor abuses, LeBaron 2014. The transference of risk onto workers—especially from Asia, Africa, and Latin America—can also be seen in the realm of private security contracting, not just logistics. For more on exploitative labor conditions for security contractors from the Global South, see Gallaher 2012; Chisholm 2014a; Eichler 2014; Thomas 2017.

(34.) See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.215-2 Audit and Records—Negotiation at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/48/52.215-2.

(35.) See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.222-50 Combating Trafficking in Persons at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/48/52.222-50.

(37.) See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.222-50 Combating Trafficking in Persons at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/48/52.222-50.

(38.) Carp 2007, 48.

(39.) Carp 2007, 48.

(p.213) (45.) Warren 2012.

(47.) These quotes are excerpts from an email exchange between Embassy Baghdad foreign service officers Richard Albright and Alfred Anzaldua that can be found on pp. 58 and 60 of a batch of DoS documents released in response to an ACLU FOIA request. See https://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/humanrights/irap_foia_release_state_95-219.pdf.

8. Activism

(9.) Details in this paragraph come from a March 2015 interview with Endaya. On the Taji strike, see also Lee-Brago 2005.

(14.) A Word document detailing these regulations can be downloaded at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/Class_Deviation_2014-O0018_Attachment.docx.

(15.) For more on labor exploitation, trafficking, and the kafala system, see Ali 2010; Gardner 2010. In recent years several Gulf states have announced reforms to existing kafala labor practices, though human rights activists claim these formal changes have done little to improve labor migrants’ conditions in practice. See, for example, Human Rights Watch’s (2012) critique of Bahrain’s 2009 reforms.

(16.) A Serka contract with this language can be found in a 2006 Army investigation of the company. See Harris 2006, exhibit 11. Examples of Najlaa and Kulak contracts were provided by Stillman as supplemental material accompanying her 2011 article. Though the online links no longer work the author has retained copies of the contracts.

(17.) This description comes from Card’s website. See http://www.cardindustriesinc.com/about_us.php.

(19.) See Streitfeld 2014. Court proceedings for the Silicon Valley case can be found at http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/lhk/hightechemployee. In 2015 the technology companies agreed to a $415 million settlement to compensate former employees harmed by their anti-poaching conspiracy. See Whitney 2015.

(20.) The above details are taken from two appeals of the original judgments, which were denied by the Department of Labor and Employment in 2013. Copies on file with author.

(p.214) 9. Relations

(3.) See, for example, Higate 2012b; Chisholm 2014a, 2014b. Coburn (2018) provides a fascinating account of the recruitment, training, marketing, and afterlives of Gurkhas in Nepal (see, especially chaps. 6–8).

(4.) Quoted in Greene 2009, 47.

(5.) Quoted in Greene 2009, 49.

(9.) Quoted in Greene 2009, 48.

(10.) Goran frames the issue as a lack of encounters with racial “others.” But as Catherine Baker (2018) argues, it is a mistake to assume that the centrality of ethnic categories in Bosnia and other countries that constituted the former Yugoslavia means the region has existed “outside” of the politics of race and racialized imaginations, which are also deeply embedded in popular consciousness.

(12.) Crawford’s website went dark in 2017, four years after she quit posting regularly, but her posts can still be found through the Wayback Machine. See p. 3 of the comments at https://web.archive.org/web/20111010084733/ http://mssparky.com/2009/10/fluors-locap-iv-offer-for-kbr-employees-in-afghanistan/comment-page-3/#comments.

(14.) Guevarra 2009, 4; italics in original.

(15.) For a detailed analysis of this phenomenon in the cruise industry, see Terry 2014.

(16.) Coburn’s (2018, 296) research on contractors in Afghanistan also suggests this is the case.

(18.) Eichler 2013, 312. For more on military contracting and masculinity, see Higate 2012a, 2012b; Stachowitsch 2013; Chisholm 2014a, 2014b, 2017; Stachowitsch 2015; Joachim and Schneiker 2015; Chisholm and Stachowitsch 2017.

(19.) Chisholm and Stachowitsch 2017, 378. Even the rare exceptions that examine logistics labor utilize the frame of masculinity and assume the absence of female workers. Isabelle Barker (2009), for instance, claims that the performance of “effeminately” coded “reproductive labor”—such as dining, billeting and laundry services—by poor migrant men from South and Southeast Asian countries reinforces an aggressive, masculine image of military service among American troops. While Barker’s argument contains a kernel of truth, she was apparently unaware of the fact that women from Asia, Africa, and Southeast Europe are also involved in reproductive work, especially jobs related to laundry and billeting (this is likely due to the fact that Barker did not actually interview any TCN workers, but relied on news reportage and other secondary sources to construct her argument). Moreover, reproductive labor is but a small slice of the broad range of logistics work performed by both male and female TCNs.

(20.) Stoler 2001, 829. Stoler’s work has been particularly influential in the growth of such studies. See, especially, Stoler 2002.

(21.) According to Ailyn, a Serka employee interviewed by Lee Wang for her documentary Someone Else’s War (2006), this policy change occurred in 2006. Those I interviewed suggested this happened in 2008.

(22.) For more on this, see Vine 2015, chap. 10.

(24.) Stillman 2011. For a legal analysis of the problem, see Snell 2011.

10. Home

(3.) Srdjan was working for an off-base contractor at the time, and living in a private compound (actually a large guarded house) in Kabul, an arrangement that has been more common in Afghanistan than Iraq. For more on the lives of off-base contractors in Afghanistan, see Coburn 2018.

(5.) Guevarra 2010. For more on the deployment of bagong bayani as a political discourse, see Encinas-Franco 2013.

(7.) Quoted in Guevarra 2010, 55.

11. Empire’s Labor

Epigraph: Josh Begley, “How do you measure a military footprint?,” http://empire.is/about.

(9.) Keen 2006; Bacevich 2018; Filkins 2008. The “long war” was the favored nomenclature of neoconservative intellectuals that supported the Bush administration’s “war on terror” policies that also had significant influence in military circles in the 2000s. See Bacevich 2007.

(11.) M. Shaw 2005. Recently Andreas Krieg and Jean-Marc Rickli (2018) have proposed the concept of “surrogate warfare” as a way of extending Shaw’s original framework. On the “robotic revolution,” see Singer 2009.

(12.) M. Shaw 2005, 71. See also M. Shaw 2002. For an earlier critique of the pursuit of “riskless” war and humanitarian interventions, see Kahn 1999.

(13.) Roderick 2010; Sauer and Schornig 2012. See also Chamayou (2013) on drones, risk and “combatant immunity.”

(15.) For more on how contracting is impacting military operations and U.S. foreign policy, see Avant and de Nevers 2011.

(16.) This, and the following two paragraphs, draw on arguments made in Moore 2018.

(p.216) (21.) One of the most vociferous hawks, John Bolton, is now President Trump’s national security advisor.

(25.) Barkawi 2006, 74–75. For more on this, see Barkawi 2017.