Democrats ask consulting firms for information on retired military officers advising foreign governments
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) sent letters to the leaders of five consulting firms on Wednesday asking for information on their companies’ work with foreign governments in response to a recent Washington Post investigation.
The Post’s investigation found that more than 500 retired U.S. military personnel have taken jobs with foreign governments, mostly in countries known for human rights abuses and political repression.
“This was an alarming finding, raising questions about whether these former U.S. military officials and the firms that hire them are working in the best interests of the United States government and its citizens, or in the interests of some of the world’s worst regimes,” Warren and Jacobs, who sit on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, respectively, wrote.
“Given these concerns, I ask that you provide information regarding the employees of your firm that have worked on behalf of foreign governments, particularly those with a history of repression and human rights abuses, and how your firm ensures its officials are not involved in illegal or inappropriate activities that harm U.S. national security interests,” the letter continues.
The letters ask each firm — Booz Allen Hamilton, Fairfax National Security Solutions, Jones Group International & Ironhand Security, Iron Net Cybersecurity and The Cohen Group — to answer five questions by Dec. 21 about their work with foreign governments, including a list of former servicemembers at their firms who engage with those clients.
“By funneling U.S. expertise through ‘consulting’ firms that collect six- and seven-figure paychecks, foreign governments have been able to build up their military forces with U.S. assistance and without ongoing oversight from the U.S. government,” the lawmakers wrote.
The letters also criticize a former general who the lawmakers said worked for two of the firms and published op-eds in The Hill and multiple other outlets advocating for support for Saudi Arabia without disclosing the relationship.
The Washington Post’s investigation has also garnered scrutiny from both sides of the aisle.
Warren and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin late last month requesting information about the investigation.