Follow The Money? It Affects Most Of Us! Is Our Retired Military Getting Fat On Arab Money Acceptable?

By Donald A. Collins | 22 October 2022
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Earlier as an avid golfer, I wrote an Op Ed highly critical of the rich American heroes of the Professional Golfers Association who took Saudi Arabia’s big money and joined its LIV tour. Read that story here.

The PGA in facing this stiff money competition added bigger PGA purses as we know all sports are in a highly competitive marketplace.

However, the LIV will have a hard time offering PGA venues like the Masters in Augusta or the Players and other choice US courses made memorable by defectors, many like Phil Michelson and Bubba Watson and others past their primes but very rich on PGA and other purses past their primes.

Since some LIV purses for winning one of their events can like the most recent one be $4 million vs the 2021 Masters winner $2 million.

I will never watch LIV golf; they are traitors.

Another potentially very serious follow the money comparison seems apt here. What category of US fealty should we ascribe to retired military personnel who sell their expertise to train about our advanced weaponry acquired at US taxpayer expense to foreign governments including Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirate?

The page one October 20th Washington Post story tells us another questionable follow the money story.

The hottest overseas job market for retired U.S. service members is a tiny Persian Gulf nation that outsources much of its military to foreign advisers and mercenaries.

Over the past seven years, 280 military retirees have sought federal authorization to work for the United Arab Emirates — far more than for any other country, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Those who have worked as military contractors or consultants for the Emiratis include generals who made their mark fighting U.S. wars in the Middle East. Among them: retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, who was a military adviser to the UAE before he became defense secretary in the Trump administration, the documents show.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets in Washington in 2017 with Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, then crown prince of Abu Dhabi. Today Mohamed is ruler of the city-state and president of the UAE. (U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley/DOD)

The influx of American veterans willing to sell their military expertise to a foreign power — most with the consent of the Pentagon and the State Department — has helped the small but oil-rich UAE build what many experts regard as the most powerful military in the Arab world.

Read the full follow the money account here.

Then here’s a small fraction of this complex US Navy consulting fee story, again by the Washington Post on October 18th.

Under federal law, retired U.S. military personnel as well as reservists must obtain approval from the Pentagon and the State Department before they can accept money or jobs from foreign powers. The law applies to retirees — generally those who served at least 20 years in uniform — because they can be recalled to active duty. Records show that each of the six retired admirals followed the rules and received U.S. authorization to work for the government of Australia.

Between 2015 and 2021, the Navy received 95 applications from retirees to work for foreign governments — and approved every one, according to the documents that The Post obtained under FOIA. Government lawyers fought the release of the records, arguing that they were of little public interest and that disclosing basic details would violate the retirees’ privacy.

For three of the retired admirals on Australia’s payroll, the U.S. Navy spent less than a week reviewing their paperwork before granting permission, the documents show. Two of the admirals applied to work for the Australians within one month of their retirement from the military.

Officials at the White House and the U.S. Navy declined to comment for this article.

Compared with the U.S. Navy, which has about 290 deployable ships and submarines, Australia’s fleet is small, with only 43 vessels. But Australia’s strategic importance looms large because of its proximity to the Indian and Pacific oceans, as well as the world’s busiest shipping lanes, near the contested waters of the South China Sea.

If Australia acquires nuclear subs, it will become the seventh country to do so. With only 26 million people, Australia would be by far the least populous member of the club.

To an extraordinary degree in recent years, Australia has relied on high-priced American consultants to decide which ships and submarines to buy and how to manage strategic acquisition projects. In addition to the six retired U.S. admirals, the government of Australia has hired three former civilian U.S. Navy leaders and three U.S. shipbuilding executives.

Does the fact that Australia is our ally make the US Navy brass profiteering somewhat less objectionable but still questionable if giving away sensitive American military expertise that could be resold to others not own allies? Not to me or the Washington Post writers.

Read that story here.

What can be done? Apparently, the generals and the admirals have expressed no concern for their follow the money actions. Perhaps that is true because of their enviable war service records make them must feel above reproach.

And these retired generals’ and admirals’ consulting fees in the hundreds of thousands are much lower than the LIV golf purses.

However, the Post has done a masterful investigative reporting job here which likely may get overlooked and unacted upon in the welter of political misbehaviors now going on in Washington.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

Post investigation finds ‘a new revolving door’ for retired U.S. military

‘Is This A Concern?’: Pentagon Reacts To Retired Military Personnel Now Working For Saudi Arabia

Retired U.S. military officers find work as ‘consultants’ for Saudi government

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