Billions More Wasted on Anti-Drug Contracts in Latin America

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
It’s impossible to know if the federal government is effectively spending billions of dollars on contractors to help fight the nation’s war on drugs, says a U.S. senator.
Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri, chair of the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, says there is “insufficient oversight of counternarcotics contracts at the Departments of State and Defense,” making it difficult to assess the success of spending $3.1 billion on such work between 2005 and 2009.
McCaskill points to a lack of transparency at both departments, where no centralized database or system has been established to track counternarcotics contracts. To make matters worse, the Defense Department has admitted that the current systems it is relying on are “inconsistent,” “time-consuming and error-prone.”
Spending on counternarcotics contracts increased by 32% over a five-year period, says McCaskill, but contract management and oversight was found to be insufficient.
The majority of the money, $1.8 billion, went to just five contractors: DynCorp, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, ITT, and ARINC, with $1.1 billion going to DynCorp.
Slightly more than half of the money was spent “on aircraft-related services, maintenance, logistics, support, equipment, and training.” The rest went to other equipment and supplies, intelligence and surveillance, information technology and communications equipment and services, construction and logistics, and personnel.
Although the contracts were spent for operations in eight Latin American countries, almost $2 billion went to Colombia alone.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
New Information about Counternarcotics Contracts in Latin America (Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight) (pdf)
More War, More Money for DynCorp (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Brandt Hardin 8 years ago
the war on drugs failed billions of dollars ago! this money could have been used for outreach programs to clean up the bad end of drug abuse by providing free hiv testing, free rehab, and clean needles. harmless drugs like marijuana could be legalized to help boost our damaged economy. cannabis can provide hemp for countless natural recourses and the tax revenue from sales alone would pull every state in our country out of the red! vote teapot, pass it, and legalize it. voice you opinion with the movement and check out my pro-cannabis art at

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