News Release

Trump Advisor Who Played Key Role in Iraq Occupation

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TIM SHORROCK, timshorrock [at] gmail.com, @TimothyS
Shorrock is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist and the author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.

He recently wrote the piece “One of Trump’s Top Military Advisers Played a Key Role in the Disastrous Iraq Occupation,” which states: “So far, little attention has been paid to a retired Army lieutenant general, Joseph ‘Keith’ Kellogg, one of Trump’s closest military and foreign-policy advisers. Kellogg is a former contracting executive who is considered a front-runner for a senior position at the Pentagon. He has been among the small group of advisers seen entering and leaving Trump Tower this week. …

“Kellogg played a critical role in the disastrous U.S. occupation of Iraq as the director of operations of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which ran the country after the 2003 invasion. Since leaving the military, he has been deeply involved in the high-tech, computer-driven style of warfare that has spawned the enormous business complex of contractors and suppliers that ring Washington, D.C, from the CIA to the National Security Agency. …

“Until recently, Kellogg worked as vice president of strategic initiatives for Cubic Corp., which provides ground combat training and other technical support to the Pentagon. Before that, Kellogg was the president of Abraxas, a highly secretive subsidiary of Cubic that was founded by retired CIA operatives. …

“From 2005 to 2009, Kellogg was a top executive with CACI International, one of the companies that supplied interrogators who abused and tortured Iraqi prisoners at the U.S. military prison at Abu Ghraib. …

“Last February, in a widely quoted interview on Fox, Trump called the U.S. invasion of Iraq “the worst decision ever made in the history of our country.” In the months that followed, he repeatedly blasted Clinton for supporting the invasion, which — as he rightly argued — planted the seeds for the rise of ISIS, the Islamist terrorist army that U.S., Iraqi, and Kurdish forces are now trying to dislodge from Iraq and Syria. …

“Yet, as a top CPA official, Kellogg played a critical role in the disastrous occupation that helped spawn the insurgent army that later morphed into ISIS. At the CPA, he was the chief operating officer for reconstruction for Paul Bremer, the associate of Henry Kissinger appointed by Bush and Rumsfeld to run the occupation. In that post, Kellogg hired dozens of contractors and staffers — many of them young right-wing ideologues from Washington — to award construction contracts.”