Dismayed by the inability of US armed forces to impose peace on Iraq, US President George W Bush and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have opted to outsource the war to a private consortium.
Headed by a private firm, LethalResponse Inc — established by ex-Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld just minutes after losing his cabinet post — the consortium also includes Halliburton subsidiary Kellog Brown & Root and a number of leading US defence companies.
"It just makes sense," said a smiling Rumsfeld. "This war is costing billions, and there's no sense in that money going to waste in Iraq. It might as well go into American pockets."
It's understood that the consortium will sub-contract the war back to the US Army, though this may involve troops having to accept pay cuts and loss of what Rumsfeld described as 'frivolous fringe benefits', such as body armor and ammunition.
Sources close to the Pentagon say that the fee charged by the consortium will undercut the current price of the war by up to 3 percent. In return, the consortium will be allocated an undisclosed share of Iraq's oil revenues and will assume all contracts for supplying, transporting and maintaining US armed forces in Iraq.
"This is a great opportunity for America," said Rumsfeld from his company's headquarters in the Cayman Isles. "At least, it's a great opportunity for Americans who are shareholders in our company. Which means me and George. The war in Iraq is going from bad to worse, which means lots of business for our consortium. The guys who make the weapons and rockets and things are very happy. We've just contracted with a private airline to bring back the bodies and stuff, so they're happy. Everybody's happy!"
It is believed that President Bush will become a director of LethalResponse when his current term as President ends.
President George W Bush has returned to Washington in triumph after completing his tour of duty in Iraq. The President led a highly successful mission that also marked the completion of his military service.
"We're all relieved," said a White House aide. "Frankly, it was getting embarrassing. I mean, he started his military service in the 1960s. But this tour in Iraq really puts paid to those liberal wieners who say that this President is a deserter or a coward. He's shown his willingness to go do the job himself."
The details of the President's mission are still classified, but it's believed that he briefed the Prime Minister of Iraq, whatever his name is, both before and after the mission.
There are unconfirmed rumours that the President flew some kind of bombing mission. "We're a bit worried he thought he was bombing Vietnam," said a source close to the President. "But it's probably best not to say anything. I mean, he always felt bad about those other boys going to Vietnam and getting killed while he was playing golf with his Daddy's political backers. But hell, he was doing a job for the country too."
Many US service personnel are now on their third or fourth tours in Iraq. According to the Whitehouse press office, the President is now proud to be numbered among the veterans of this conflict.
"The several hours he spent in the country — actually in Baghdad, one of the most dangerous places — shows that this is a true War President," said a hastly issued press release. "It proves that the President is not prepared to send the boys and girls of America to do a job he's not prepared to do himself."