How I learned to stop worrying and love Halliburton

In the nine years I’ve spent in the private sector – three companies, three industries – I’ve discovered precisely three universal truths that govern and bind us all.
Shit rolls downhill
Payday’s on Friday
When you absolutely have to get it there overnight – use FedEx.
You may disagree with me on the specifics of the third, but I’d wager your amendment would capture the spirit of FedEx’s inclusion: the important stuff, you don’t leave to chance.
So when someone asks me if I’m bothered by the fact that Halliburton is being contracted to perform services for the coalition in Iraq, I say, “Hell, no!”
They’re the “FedEx” of the energy industry.

The question raised is not about Halliburton’s capabilities to do the job. The company is one of only a few that actually can successfully accomplish all the work that needs to be done. Let’s be clear. This is not a vacation escape. Our folks deliver the essentials, build the transmission lines, dig the ditches, keep open the communications lines from home, and they have a host of other duties. Our Halliburton employees live in the same conditions as the troops. [E.m]
What’s more, they’ve done it all before…
We have done this vital work for years, serving both Republican and Democratic administrations. In World War II we built warships. In Vietnam we constructed airfields and port facilities. In Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti and the Balkans we worked alongside the troops to help provide a sense of normalcy to those countries. In 1991, during the first Gulf War, our people helped extinguish over half of the oil fires in Kuwait. [E.m.]
You want to hate a successful organization, try the New York Yankees. We can all agree that’s more or less harmless. But enough with the condemnation of Halliburton. It’s shrill. It’s counterproductive. And based on the history of services they’ve provided our nation, altogether unwarranted.
(Cross-posted at Velvet Hammers)



  1. Niall

    What’s more, Halliburton are making an absolute motza for their shareholders out of the whole ‘deal’. Imagine, for example, buying fuel in Kuwait at US$0.70/gal and re-selling in in Iraq at near double the price! Way to go, Dick Cheney…..oh, that’s right. He’s no longer connected with Halliburton… he.

  2. Iraq and a Hard Place

    Seeing as I am currently the benficiary of Halliburton largesse in Baghdad right now I can say….THANK GOD FOR HALLIBURTON. Every single day life here gets easier because of these guys. Until you come and sit here for a bit, you’re totally clueless as to the mammoth logistical feats these guys perform everyday.
    The fact that they are here means numerous Reserve and National Guard units are NOT here. Go ask the folks in those units if Halliburton is worth it.
    Oh, and I used to be on the team that wrote the Army’s LOGCAP (Logisitcs Civil Augmentation Package) with firms OTHER than Halliburton. I know the process, I know what they get paid and I know WHY they get paid what they get paid. If you think hooking up civilian firms on an extremely short no-notice time sequence is easy, go try it. Go ahead, call up say, IBM and ask them to get 200 hardware and software experts in a combat zone in under 10 days and watch what happens.
    I did it with another firm in 1994 for the Army. The result wasn’t pretty. Halliburton IS the only firm that can handle this right now. Because they are among the very few firms who, as a core business practice, maintain a Rollodex From Hell of people with odd, but needed, specialities who are willing to go anywhere, anytime on no notice.
    If you think that in itself is easy — it ain’t.

  3. Dave in LA

    The first big LOGCAP contract for Halliburton was let by the Clinton DOD. Getting one of these is NOT a no-bid deal, as Iraq and a Hard Place can surely attest. There are lots of reasons these contracts are necessary and are in our best interests. See the following example.
    Imagine “competitive bidding” to put out oil fires. We’d have to wait to find out how many were on fire, then write up the contract specs, publish an RFP, give everyone time to submit bids, evaluate the bids, award the contract(s), and then the winner has to assemble the teams, arrange transportation, and… You get the idea.
    There are other logistical and cost-based reasons these contracts make sense in the kind of situations we face in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, performance under these contracts is audited.
    I would love to hear JUST ONE Halliburton critic tell us all exactly what their alternative is, and exactly how it would save us money.