Defying Pentagon Secrecy, Reporting Exposes Retired US Generals on Saudi Payroll

A sweeping investigation published by The Washington Post on Tuesday after years of digging and legal battles with the U.S. government shows that at least 15 retired American generals and admirals have worked as paid consultants for Saudi Arabia’s ministry of defense since 2016.

“Congress permits retired troops as well as reservists to work for foreign governments if they first obtain approval from their branch of the armed forces and the State Department,” the newspaper pointed out. “But the U.S. government has fought to keep the hirings secret. For years, it withheld virtually all information about the practice, including which countries employ the most retired U.S. service members and how much money is at stake.”

In total, the Post found that “more than 500 retired U.S. military personnel—including scores of generals and admirals—have taken lucrative jobs since 2015 working for foreign governments” such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, Turkey, and Kuwait, mostly with the official approval of U.S. military branches.

The Post did highlight some cases of ex-military officials taking “foreign jobs or gifts without notifying the U.S. government at all,” citing the prominent example of retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a Trump loyalist and fascist who raked in nearly $450,000 in payments from Turkey and Russia in 2015 without receiving clearance from U.S. officials.

commondreams Defying Pentagon Secrecy, Reporting Exposes Retired US Generals on Saudi Payroll