Mystery at Manas: Strategic Blind Spots in the Department of Defense's Fuel Contracts in Kyrgyzstan. Report of the Majority Staff
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (UNITED STATES) WASHINGTON DC COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM
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The Defense Logistics Agency-Energy DLA-Energy, the Department of Defenses principal fuel contracting arm, since 2002, has awarded Mina and its sister company, Red Star Enterprises, contracts worth 2 billion for fuel at Manas, and several additional contracts to Red Star for fuel supply to the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. In December 2009, Subcommittee staff initiated an informal inquiry into the fuel contracts for the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan. In April 2010, following a revolution in Kyrgyzstan and allegations of corruption in the fuel contracts, Rep. John F. Tierney, launched a formal investigation into fuel supply at Manas. The collateral consequences of the United States lack of strategic oversight of its fuel contracting in Central Asia have been significant. Allegations of corruption in the Manas contracts have been linked to two revolutions in Kyrgyzstan and resulted in widespread public perceptions the United States has deliberately used the fuel contracts to bribe Kyrgyzstans two past presidents. DLA-Energys by-the-book focus on performance and price was inadequate for proper strategic oversight of multi-billion dollar fuel contracting in a highly graft-prone region of the world. Policy officials at the Pentagon and State Department did little to nothing to assist DLA-Energy. Although the investigation uncovered no credible evidence of financial links between the U.S. contractors and the Bakiyevs, the investigation did identify three circumstances that raise serious questions about Mina and Red Stars activities. In addition, Mina and Red Star exhibited a troubling disdain for their responsibilities as a U.S. government contractor in the early stages of the investigation.
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