University of Pittsburgh
March 12, 2007

Controversy Surrounding Halliburton's Decision to Open a Corporate Headquarters in Dubai Is Symbolic of a Failed Iraqi Invasion and Occupation, Says Pitt Faculty Expert

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PITTSBURGH-Michael Brenner, professor of international affairs in the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, says the angry reaction from members of the U.S. Congress to Halliburton's decision to open a corporate headquarters in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and move its chair and CEO there has more to do with symbolism than practicalities. "Halliburton is symbolic of three things that have gone wrong with the Iraqi invasion and failed occupation," Brenner says. "These include the incompetence and corruption that have scarred the multibillion-dollar reconstruction program, the special treatment-including lucrative no-bid contracts-given to corporations with political ties to the White House, and the absence of any accountability."

Brenner says Halliburton's privileged, protected status stems from the influence of Vice President Dick Cheney, who was CEO of Halliburton prior to 2000. He also says that Halliburton will be able to cultivate in Arabian Gulf states the kind of political friends "who have served its bottom line so well in Washington."

Brenner's areas of research include American foreign policy, international relations theory, international political economy, and national security; he is affiliated with the Center for Transatlantic Relations in Washington, D.C.