A Deal So Good It Could be Illegal

Former Congressman Curt Weldon's employer Defense Solutions got a good deal in Iraq. So good, that "the deal, for decades-old, equipment, included terms so lopsided, they likely would have been illegal under U.S. law." Defense Solutions got a contract with the Iraqi government in 2005 to refurbish obsolete Soviet-era Hungarian tanks. While U.S. law would dictate that the company's fee be tied to performance, Defense Solutions' contract not only ensures payment, it also gives them a percentage of the total cost. Even the Pentagon admits that "A cost plus percentage of cost type arrangement would encourage the contractor to experience as much cost as possible to receive a greater amount of fee." The status of the tanks is not known, and the amount paid to Defense Solutions is confidential. The contract was signed on the Iraqi side by Ziad Cattan, who was put in place by the U.S. to oversee Iraq's defense procurement. During his time in Congress, Weldon was on the House Committee on Armed Services and chaired the Military Procurement Subcommittee under Armed Services.