In the Halliburton scandal, watchdog groups claimed that former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and his companies gained profits of approximately $39.5 billion as a result of the Iraq war. They also say that U.S. taxpayer dollars funded more than $138 billion in privately-contracted war services such as private security and meal services, with Halliburton the number one recipient of these public funds.
Watchdog groups report that a subsidiary of Halliburton was the top recipient of U.S. taxpayer dollars during the war effort, in the form of government-contracted, private services. Some of these deals did not even require Halliburton to bid for the contracts with other organizations, and the government simply awarded Halliburton the lucrative contracts without competition and without scrutinizing contract prices. Skeptics say that the United States could have performed these functions at a lower overall cost by using U.S. soldiers to perform the work.
Economics estimate the taxpayer cost of this direct relationship with Halliburton at approximately $60 billion. Critics also say that despite the end of the Iraq war and the withdrawal of troops, private firms such as Halliburton continue to benefit from contracted employees remaining in the country to provide security at the U.S. embassy. For example, Haliburton's subsidiary company, KBR, Inc., continues to benefit in the form of a 2010 renewal contract to provide housing, meals and other basic services in the Middle East. During his run for president against George W. Bush in 2004, John Kerry's accusations against Cheney include that Cheney received approximately $2 million in benefits and incentives from Halliburton as a result of his leadership of the company before holding the office of U.S. Vice President.