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Military Industrial Complex

Contractors Cash In As Congress Adds Billions To Pentagon Budget

Congress has spoken when it comes to next year’s Pentagon budget and the results, if they weren’t so in line with past practices, should astonish us all. The House of Representatives voted to add $37 billion and the Senate $45 billion to the administration’s already humongous request for “national defense,” a staggering figure that includes both the Pentagon budget and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy. If enacted, the Senate’s sum would push spending on the military to at least $850 billion annually, far more — adjusted for inflation — than at the height of the Korean or Vietnam wars or the peak years of the Cold War. U.S. military spending is, of course, astronomically high — more than that of the next nine countries combined. Here’s the kicker, though: the Pentagon (an institution that has never passed a comprehensive financial audit) doesn’t even ask for all those yearly spending increases in its budget requests to Congress.

US Launched 251 Military Interventions Since 1991, And 469 Since 1798

The United States launched at least 251 military interventions between 1991 and 2022. This is according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, a US government institution that compiles information on behalf of Congress. The report documented another 218 US military interventions between 1798 and 1990. That makes for a total of 469 US military interventions since 1798 that have been acknowledged by the Congress. This data was published on March 8, 2022 by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in a document titled “Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2022.” The list of countries targeted by the US military includes the vast majority of the nations on Earth, including almost every single county in Latin America and the Caribbean and most of the African continent.

US Sends Ukraine $228 Million Per Day In Aid To Wage Proxy War On Russia

Researcher Stephen Semler documented the 21 distinct military aid packages that the Joe Biden administration approved for Ukraine in the year between August 2021 and August 2022, at a total of $40.13 billion. Two of those 21 pledges were approved before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Excluding these two Presidential Drawdowns from August and December 2021, which are worth $260 million combined, the Biden administration passed $39.87 billion for military aid in Ukraine between February 25, 2022 (the day after the Russian invasion) and August 19, 2022.

Inside Lockheed Martin’s Sweeping Recruitment On College Campuses

To a casual observer, the Black Hawk and Sikorsky S-76 helicopters may have seemed incongruous landing next to the student union on the University of Connecticut’s pastoral green campus, but this particular Thursday in September 2018 was Lockheed Martin Day, and the aircraft were the main attraction. A small group of students stood nearby, signs in hand, protesting Lockheed’s presence and informing others about a recent massacre. Weeks earlier, 40 children had been killed when a Saudi-led coalition air strike dropped a 500-pound bomb on a school bus in northern Yemen. A CNN investigation found that Lockheed — the world’s largest weapons manufacturer — had sold the precision-guided munition to Saudi Arabia a year prior in a $110 billion arms deal brokered under former President Donald Trump.

Arsenal Of Autocracy?

These are good times to be an arms maker.  Not only are tens of billions of dollars in new military spending headed for the coffers of this country’s largest weapons contractors, but they’re being praised as defenders of freedom and democracy, thanks to their role in arming Ukraine to fight the Russians. The last time the industry gained such a sterling reputation was during World War II when it was lauded as the “arsenal of democracy” for fueling the fight against fascism. Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes recently underscored this point in an interview with the Harvard Business Review. While discussing how he should respond to criticism of his company benefiting from a rise in sales right now, he said: “Look, we don’t apologize for making these systems, making these weapons. The fact is, they are incredibly effective in deterring and dealing with the threat that the Ukrainians are seeing today…"

No Way Out But War

The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses.

The Last Good Guys?

Why has the United States already become so heavily invested in the Russia-Ukraine war? And why has it so regularly gotten involved, in some fashion, in so many other wars on this planet since it invaded Afghanistan in 2001?  Those with long memories might echo the conclusion reached more than a century ago by radical social critic Randolph Bourne that “war is the health of the state” or recall the ancient warnings of this country’s founders like James Madison that democracy dies not in darkness, but in the ghastly light thrown by too many bombs bursting in air for far too long. In 1985, when I first went on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, a conflict between the Soviet Union and Ukraine would, of course, have been treated as a civil war between Soviet republics. In the context of the Cold War, the U.S. certainly wouldn’t have risked openly sending billions of dollars in weaponry directly to Ukraine to “weaken” Russia.

The Pimps Of War

The same cabal of warmongering pundits, foreign policy specialists and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodge responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate. They are protean, shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. Pseudo intellectuals, they exude a cloying Ivy League snobbery as they sell perpetual fear, perpetual war, and a racist worldview, where the lesser breeds of the earth only understand violence.

The Weapons Industry Sees The War In Ukraine As A Goldmine

Since the pandemic began in early 2020, the weapons industry has argued that shutdowns and supply chain disruptions have put the “defense industrial base” in peril, compromising the national security and military “readiness” of the United States. Now, that same industry is using Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and NATO’s subsequent military buildup to double down on the argument, demanding rapid, public investments in the weapons industry to bolster the capacity of the United States and NATO for “deterrence.”

Lockheed And Raytheon – Today’s ‘Masters Of War’

That the U.S./NATO-instigated war in Ukraine could result in a third world war is of major concern for all of humanity, especially workers and oppressed people who ultimately bear the brunt of any war. Yet for some global billionaires — today’s ‘masters of war’ — this conflict is seen as an opportunity to further boost profits. Among those already reaping gains are companies involved in the production and sale of weapons, planes and other military hardware. This includes 14 of the world’s 20 largest “defense” companies headquartered in the U.S. Topping this list are Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon Technologies, which had combined arms sales in 2019 nearing $100 billion. On Feb. 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, the stock value of these arms manufacturers soared. Raytheon and Lockheed officials openly told investors the Ukraine conflict was “good for business.”

US War Lobby Fuels Conflict In Russia, Ukraine, And Syria

Douglas Macgregor, a retired US Army Colonel and former Pentagon senior advisor, analyzes the US-Russia standoff in Ukraine; the aftermath of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan; Trump’s failure to act on 2016 campaign anti-interventionist rhetoric, only to surround himself with neocons; and the ongoing, overlooked US military occupation of Syria after the decade-long CIA dirty war. “The Military Industrial Congressional Complex,” Macgregor says, “seems to be more powerful than anyone who occupies the office of the presidency.”ffice of the presidency.”

On Contact: America’s War Machine

Chris Hedges discusses with Andrew Cockburn his new book, ‘The Spoils of War – Power, Profit and the American War Machine’. Cockburn’s book lays bare the naked lust for profit that is behind America’s endless wars and bloated military budget. The American war machine, he writes, can only be understood in terms of the “private passions” and “interests” of those who control it – principally, a passionate interest in making money.

How Congress Loots The Treasury For The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

Despite a disagreement over some amendments in the Senate, the United States Congress is poised to pass a $778 billion military budget bill for 2022. As they have been doing year after year, our elected officials are preparing to hand the lion’s share - over 65% - of federal discretionary spending to the U.S. war machine, even as they wring their hands over spending a mere quarter of that amount on the Build Back Better Act. The U.S. military’s incredible record of systematic failure—most recently its final trouncing by the Taliban after twenty years of death, destruction and lies in Afghanistan—cries out for a top-to-bottom review of its dominant role in U.S. foreign policy and a radical reassessment of its proper place in Congress’s budget priorities.

Students Are Pushing Colleges To Sever Ties With Military-Industrial Complex

The violence wreaked by U.S. wars since 9/11 has been immense — more than 929,000 total deaths, including an estimated 380,000 civilian deaths. And the U.S. has spent a staggering $14 trillion in Pentagon expenditures since the Afghanistan War in 2001, up to one-half of which went directly to defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon. While these facts are outrageous, they aren’t surprising in a country built on colonial violence — a country whose power and expansion are derived from war-making, with such militarism being grounded in every institution arising from the state, including education. Students and young people are witnesses to the ways in which the U.S. education system is deeply complicit with war and militarism, and in increasing numbers we are demanding change.

Bellingcat Funded By Contractors That Aided Extremists In Syria

Since its launch in July 2014, the self-styled open-source investigations website Bellingcat has cemented itself as a darling of mainstream Western media, with its dives into alleged Syrian government chemical weapon attacks and Russian intelligence operations showered with praise, puff pieces, and glitzy awards. While vehemently insisting that it is independent of government influence, Bellingcat is funded by both the US government’s National Endowment for Democracy and the European Union. CIA officials have declared their “love” for Bellingcat, and there are unambiguous signs that the outlet has partnered closely with London and Washington to further the pair’s imperial objectives. Now that the media consortium has obtained access to high-tech satellites capable of capturing 50cm resolution imagery of any place on Earth, it is time to place these connections under the microscope.
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