Veterans of the United States Armed Forces who participated in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan in the past two decades are now suffering the consequences of exposure to the burning of toxic waste.
The Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed the existence of cancers, as well as skin conditions, asthma, bronchitis, respiratory, pulmonary and cardiovascular problems, migraines and other neurological disorders among the ex-military.
All these health problems could have been avoided, pointed out a recent article published in local media.
The US military used to use jet fuel or diesel to burn all kinds of waste, which creates much more pollution than high-temperature incinerators, the material noted.
But using incinerators would have cost much more money, the text added, explaining that they decided to put contractors such as Kellogg, Brown & Root, or KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, in charge of disposing of that waste.
From 1995 to 2000, Halliburton’s CEO was Dick Cheney, who in 2001 became US Vice President and a key architect of the US invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The KBR company has been awarded no-bid contracts to handle a wide range of war-related logistics issues, including waste removal, the Democracy Now news service reported.
To maximize profits, KBR opted for the use of low-cost, polluting burn pits, which were used to dispose of waste, tires, paint and other volatile organic solvents, batteries, unexploded ordnance, petroleum products, plastics and medical waste, including human body parts.
These constantly burning dumps were often located next to barracks and soldiers exposed to them were provided with little or no protective equipment, he commented in the article.
Already approved by the House of Representatives in July, last week the Senate gave the green light to the legislative proposal known as the PACT Act, which will provide medical care and benefits to millions of veterans affected by the incidence of toxins.
Currently the initiative awaits the signature of President Joe Biden to become law.
Political analysts have warned that the PACT Act will help in the next 10 years to alleviate some of the suffering caused by Halliburton’s maneuvers to obtain profits thanks to wars, but it contemplates only the American victims, because it will not provide aid to Iraqis or Afghans. .