[QODLink]
Fault Lines

America's War Workers

From India to Dubai and Afghanistan, we probe the system that brings foreign labourers to US military bases abroad.

Last updated: 12 Mar 2014 08:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Today there are nearly 40,000 foreign contract workers on bases in the US military’s Central Command.

Hailing primarily from India and Nepal, these labourers serve American troops in facilities in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere - doing jobs including cooking, housekeeping and driving.

The US military subcontracts these manual jobs to private companies, which in turn subcontract hiring to Gulf-based contractors and local recruiters.

The promise of high salaries makes these so-called 'third country nationals' believe heading to a war zone is worth the risk.

To get the jobs, many dip into their savings and take out loans to pay thousands of dollars in local agents fees. But in Afghanistan, they find wages far lower than anticipated. Locked into an indentured workforce, they nevertheless remain to earn enough funds to repay their loans.

So, has the US military come to rely on an indentured workforce?

In this investigation, Fault Lines finds that these labourers regularly end up deceived and indebted, victims of local recruiters who charge thousands of dollars for a chance to be placed in one of these jobs, and labour traffickers who profit from military contracts.

We retrace the journey these workers often make – from villages in India to labour camps in Dubai – to examine how the US staffs its bases during wartime. And we travel to the Persian Gulf and the US to find out who should be held accountable.

In Pictures
 

Fault Lines  can be seen on Al Jazeera English each week at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2230; Thursday: 0930; Friday: 0330; Saturday: 1630. 

Watch more  Fault Lines 

348

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list