Former CEO of BAE Joins Dogs of War: DynCorp International
June 20, 2007 (LPAC)--On Jan 16, 2007 The Falls Church, Virginia-based DynCorp International Inc., appointed Mark Ronald, former president and CEO of BAE Systems, to its board of directors. Ronald was the president of BAE Systems Inc., BAE's U.S. subsidiary. When BAE Systems first set up shop in Northern Virginia, Britain's Independent called it a "small but important example of the burgeoning presence in the U.S. of the British defense and aerospace company."
DynCorp is a longstanding U.S. defense contractor that evolved from an ordinary subcontractor into a full-fledged private military company (PMC) operating in dozens of countries including Vietnam, Laos, Iraq, Bosnia, Colombia, Somalia -- and on the U.S. Mexico border -- gaining a vile reputation for cowboy methods, being the aggressive guards of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, and even running a prostitution ring in Bosnia.
In 2004, the U.S. State Department hired two private contractors to provide logistical support for African Union forces headed to Darfur in Sudan, for which DynCorp and Pacific Architects & Engineers (PAE) were awarded more than $20 million. In 2005, after John Garang's SPLA became part of the Sudanese government, DynCorp got the contract to transform the SPLA guerrilla movement into a regular army. The SPLA then "sold" large territories developed by the French oil giant Total to the British oil company, White Nile UK.
Why use private contractors? "The answer is simple," says a senior U.S. government official in response to Corpwatch: "We are not allowed to fund a political party or agenda under United States law, so by using private contractors, we can get around these provisions. Think of it as somewhere between a covert program run by the CIA and an overt program run by the United States Agency for International Development. It is a way to avoid oversight by Congress."
At present, DynCorp has 14,000 employees around the world, mainly retired military and police forces. Revenue was up to $2.3 billion, of which 98% came from public contracts, half of that from security related missions, and half from IT. DynCorp got a substantial part of the $379 million spent after September 11 to modernize the FBI's computer system. In early June, DynCorp named Dwight M. Williams, a former top official of Bush's Department Homeland Security, as vice president for security. Commenting on DynCorp's soaring profits that "blew by Wall Street expectations," Forbes.com wrote under the headline "While Greed May Be Good, War Is Better," that "as conflict continues to dominate headlines, analysts remain upbeat on military contractors."