US Fought to Keep Veterans’ Foreign Jobs a Secret

More than 500 retired US military personnel have taken lucrative jobs since 2015 working for foreign governments. Generals and admirals have landed roles in governments such as Saudi Arabia, according to the new Washington Post investigation. 

At least 16 high-ranking officials from the military have worked as paid consultants for the Defense Ministry of Saudi Arabia since 2016. 

Saudi Arabia’s paid advisers have included retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, a national security adviser to President Barack Obama, and retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who led the National Security Agency under Obama and President George W. Bush. 

Others who have worked as consultants for the Saudis in recent years include a retired four-star Air Force general and a former commanding general of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The information was uncovered in documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

The Washington Post said most of these foreign jobs were in countries known for human rights abuses and political repression.

Most of the retired U.S. personnel have worked as civilian contractors for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Persian Gulf monarchies, playing critical, though largely invisible, roles in upgrading their militaries.

It is unclear exactly how much the former high-ranking personnel are being paid per job, but it is more than what most American service members earn on active duty.

Those serving as active four-star general earns $203,698 a year in basic pay, while former military officials have been given consulting deals worth more than $10 million.

Congress gives permission for retired troops and reservists to work for foreign governments so long as they have approval from their branch of the armed forces and the State Department. But the U.S. government fought to keep the hirings secret until a judge ruled that 4,000 pages of documents should be handed over to the Washington Post in a two-year legal battle.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.