Michael O’Brien, author of America’s Failure in Iraq, discusses the media’s focus on troop escalations while ignoring the larger private contractor surges, the ease of starting wars and keeping them going since Congress abdicated its Constitutional responsibility, the inexcusable failures of the Coalition Provisional Authority and Paul Bremer, the primary purposes of contractors in Iraq: generate billable hours and stay alive, the critical questions not asked in the Fox News poll about U.S. opinion on the Iraq War, how Gen. Petraeus got promoted twice after losing 190,000 weapons meant for Iraqi security forces and why the surge’s success (even supposing it worked) in 2007 doesn’t retroactively justify the 2003 invasion.
MP3 here. (44:03)
Michael O’Brien spent 14 months as a DoD (Department of Defense) contractor in Iraq. He was the Real Estate Adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Mike had previously spent over 20 years in commercial real estate, most of that time working in various areas of US Government real estate and facilities, to include nearly a decade with the US General Services Administration (GSA). Mike was assigned to the Ministry of Defense Transition Team (MODTT), part of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, or MNSTC-I. This was the Coalition command element responsible for ‘standing up’ the Iraqi Ministries of Defense and Interior after they had been disbanded by Paul Bremer, the former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
Mike O’Brien was on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Campaign in its national headquarters in Austin, Texas, and participated in the vote recounts in Florida. He was a political appointee in the administration of President George W. Bush, serving in the US State Department’s Overseas Buildings Operations Bureau, where he was responsible for the planning and development of US embassies and consulates around the world. He was in Dacca, Bangladesh, on September 11, 2001. After 9/11, Mike went to the White House as the Senior Director for Administration in the Office of Homeland Security, the predecessor to the Department of Homeland Security we have today. Mr. O’Brien was one of the first 50 staff to arrive there.
Michael O’Brien is a graduate of West Point and served in the Infantry in Fort Benning, Georgia; the Canal Zone, Republic of Panama; the Demilitarized Zone, Republic of South Korea and Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of the US Army Ranger and Airborne schools at Fort Benning, Georgia, and is a former commercial helicopter pilot. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.