- Hundreds of retired military officials have held jobs in foreign governments since 2015, according to the WAPO report.
- They often accept highly lucrative positions that pay up to seven figures in salary and benefits.
- Some of the countries where these warriors operate have committed human rights abuses, according to WaPo.
Hundreds of retired military officials have taken high-paying jobs in foreign governments, sometimes reaching seven figures in salaries and benefits, though some countries have been accused of human rights abuses, according to a report.
A new investigation by the Washington Post It found that more than 500 retired military personnel have held positions with foreign governments since 2015, with the majority of positions located in North Africa or the Middle East, including advisory positions to the Saudi Ministry of Defense.
The jobs are also very lucrative, The Post found through a Freedom of Information Act request.
For example, the Australian government has offered former top US Navy officials more than $10 million in advisory deals. In Azerbaijan, a retired US Air Force general was offered a consultant job with a salary of $5,000 per day.
By comparison, an active four-star general with more than two decades of experience earns up to $203,698 a year in base pay, according to The Post.
The newspaper reported that Saudi Arabia, which has been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses, has hired at least 15 retired US generals and admirals as advisers to the country’s Ministry of Defense.
A former Navy SEAL was hired as a special operations consultant for $258,000 a year.
Nor did Saudi Arabia’s insult to foreign opponents prevent US military officers from taking their jobs out of the country.
In 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Post, was murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi officials later admitted that Saudi agents carried out a “rogue operation” without the knowledge of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, the CIA decided that the crown order the assassination.
However, dozens of military personnel have accepted contracted jobs from Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi’s murder.
Retired General James L. Jones, who served as a national security advisor during the Obama administration, has two Virginia-based consulting firms — Ironhand Security LLC and Jones Group International LLC — and has contracts with Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with The Post, Jones said the Trump administration encouraged him to accept more contracts from the country’s Department of Defense. According to Jones, his companies have four such contracts, with 53 US citizens in Riyadh. The newspaper reported that eight retired generals and admirals, and 32 low-ranking former military personnel.
“Nobody has ever come to us and said, ‘Hey, we think you should quit,'” Jones told The Post. ‘I don’t know what the alternative would have been if we had pulled out. I was worried that (the Saudis) might get drawn into other relationships with the Chinese and the Russians, and I didn’t think that would be much of a good thing.”
Charles Wald, a retired four-star Air Force general who accepted a job in Riyadh at one of Jones’ companies, said there was considerable debate over whether to stop working for Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi’s killing.
“We asked ourselves, do we turn a blind eye to immorality? Or do we support a legitimate government,” Wald told the newspaper. The company decided to stay.
Other military personnel have taken up jobs in Indonesia or the United Arab Emirates.
Under Rewards Condition Limitsthe Constitution states that retired U.S. military personnel, which generally applies to those who have served at least 20 years in uniform and are eligible to receive a pension, cannot receive advisory fees, gifts, jobs, or titles from foreign governments without express approval by Congress.
But the publication found that consent is almost always given. Of the 500 applications since 2015, about 95% were approved. The Post also reported that some people negotiated jobs with foreign governments while on active duty.
According to the publication, there is no penalty for breaking the law and enforcement is rare.
One of the most frequently punished cases of a former US military officer was Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, for accepting fees from a foreign government.
A Defense Department investigation found that Flynn received about $450,000 from Russian and Turkish sources in 2015, a year after he retired from the military, according to the newspaper.
In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his relations with a Russian ambassador. trump Pardon Flynn in November 2020.
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