The Corrupt U.S. Congress Cheers as the War Industry Steals Billions from the People’s Coffers!

Why does Washington, D.C., always opt for war? First and foremost, war is very profitable. The U.S. war industry, which consists of corporate behemoths that manufacture weapons of war and matériel for the Pentagon and its allies, works hard to maintain astronomical profits. It finances political campaigns in order to purchase loyalty from elected officials, it funds D.C. think tanks in order to maintain a pro-war narrative and ensure new ‘threats’ are always hyped, and it advertises on national media, forestalling the slim chance a corporate journalist might challenge the need for endless war.

It is up to an informed public to remedy this situation. Understanding the following trends, which were distilled from recent Pentagon contracts, is a crucial part of forming an educated, mobilized citizenry.

Break It & Repair It

On 29 March 2018, AECOM Technical Services received over $34.8 million to help reinforce the soil and bedrock around the Mosul Dam. True to form, the contract was awarded without an open, competitive bidding process.

The Mosul Dam suffers from debilitating structural problems, which were exacerbated by the 2003 U.S. invasion, the lengthy U.S. occupation, and subsequent battles with militants who are largely the creation of U.S. foreign policy.

Whose actions weakened the dam? The U.S. war industry. Who is repairing the dam? The U.S. war industry. This is how the system works.

AECOM’s contract to repair the Mosul Dam is a microcosm of the entire Iraq War (2003-present). The U.S. war industry makes a killing destroying a nation and then makes a killing repairing its parts.

Other U.S. corporations have made a killing off of Iraq in the first quarter of 2018: Sallyport Global Holdings recently received $400 million for work and security at Balad Air Base, and Spartan Air Academy inked a lucrative deal to train the Iraqi Air Force.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) are a big part of the Iraq portfolio. Over the past few years, FMS to Iraq has included: American Science & Engineering inspection and screening systems; AM General HMMWVs; AETEC 40mm grenade systems; Armtec infrared flares; BH Defense military training; Boeing ScanEagle drones and Avenger missiles; Bukkehave trucks; Capco bomb parts; Colt rifles; DRS FLIR units; DynCorp vehicle support; General Dynamics rockets, vehicle logistics & training, bombs, and tank ammo; GovSource training for Iraqi special operation forces; IRTC cruise missile defense systems; Jacobs logistics; Kaman fuses; Lockheed Martin cargo aircraft; air defense systems, pilot training, targeting pods, and aircraft engineering; L-3 fuses; ManTech vehicle sustainment; Navistar medium tactical vehicles; Orbital ATK surveillance aircraft and training sustainment; Oshkosh Defense vehicles; Swiftships naval assistance; Textron armored personnel carriers and aircraft, including training; Trace Systems satellite service; Tukuh Technologies air force training; and United Technologies aircraft engine maintenance. The list goes on.

The ruin and repair of Iraq is just one part of the U.S. war industry’s lucrative racket.

Missile Production Capacity

In February, Newsbud reported on the war industry increasing its capacity to produce Hellfire missiles.

Capacity to produce other missile types is expanding as well.

On 6 March 2018, BAE Systems received close to $13.7 million to help increase production capacity of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS). With its headquarters in London, BAE Systems links the U.K. war industry to the United States, effectively underpinning the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries.

On 19 March 2018, Raytheon received roughly $7.8 million to improve the production capacity of AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles. Steps Raytheon might take to increase missile production include adding more equipment, altering staffing levels, and upgrading its facilities.

The war industry has been operating at full steam for the past seventeen years. Now, these contracts tell us, the boardrooms of prominent war industry giants believe there is reason to produce more Hellfire, APKWS, and Sidewinder missiles. Is it war with Iran? A bigger offensive against President Assad’s forces in Syria? Conflict in Korea?

The U.S. war industry is expecting more sustained, high-tempo hostilities in the near future. You’ve been warned.

Targeting the Philippines

War corporations know they need more conflict in order to sustain and increase profits. They cannot always rely on southwest Asia as the primary driver of their portfolios. Cue the Philippines.

Shortly after 11 September 2001, the Pentagon deployed special operations forces to the Philippines under the guise of ‘fighting terror.’ The unit was known as Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF-P). Despite a name change, the Task Force’s components are still active in the area. Troop levels, including conventional forces, have increased in recent years.

The government of the Philippines benefits from the presence of U.S. troops in two primary ways: it receives increased funding from Washington, D.C., and U.S. troops assist in the fight against pesky insurgencies in the southern portion of the country. The government of the Philippines knows that the Pentagon will never weigh the grievances of those living in Mindanao, for example, prior to deploying troops across the Pacific.

The war industry benefits from a U.S. troop presence in the Philippines because it gets to sell the Pentagon and the Philippines a variety of weapons and services.

Contracts from March 2018 illustrate this phenomenon.

On 28 March 2018, JJLL LLC (a joint venture between JLL & J&J Worldwide) received nearly $16 million to support U.S. Marines who have been deployed to the Philippines. Support ranges from mundane administrative tasks and the provision of cable television to airfield security and serving food.

On 30 March 2018, Raytheon received roughly $14.4 million for Philippines maritime proliferation prevention.

This package, which falls under the administrative umbrella of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) WMD Proliferation Prevention Program, is the result of a classic war industry ruse: pretend a country is vulnerable to WMD smuggling and/or WMD development and then push the Pentagon to address the situation militarily.

Other recent contracts in which war corporations benefit from U.S. military operations in the Philippines include: DynCorp supporting Navy operations; Harris setting up command & control systems; and Boeing selling small drones to the Philippines’ Armed Forces (AFP).

Now, through think tank affiliates and media assistants, the U.S. war industry will stress that the enemy of the day must be ‘defeated’ in the Philippines. More troops, weaponry, and destruction will follow. And the profitable drums of endless war beat on.

Why These Trends Matter

Endless war only helps Wall Street and war profiteers. Everyone else is harmed.

The U.S. war industry kills civilians abroad. Period. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

Back in the States, crushing inequality runs wild. Millions of Americans live in poverty, don’t have enough to eat, lack affordable housing, and are denied adequate educational opportunities.

The money that goes to the Pentagon could help alleviate such misery. Instead, the corrupt U.S. Congress cheers as the war industry steals billions from the people’s coffers. This is a criminal enterprise, plain and simple.

Learning about the aforementioned trends is crucial, because only an educated citizenry can remedy the appalling status quo.

Understanding how the war industry operates is just one step towards achieving peace and economic justice in our lifetime.

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Christian Sorensen, a Newsbud Contributing Author & Analyst, is a U.S. military veteran and independent journalist.

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Comments

  1. tallsexyblonde says:

    Sad.

  2. when i was a missionary in the phillipines, we ran a base in olongapo & later in angeles city, clark base. we knew friends in olongapo who did “wet work” with filipino army in the area of bataan or zambales, i forget. the philippines doesn’t just have a muslim problem in mindanao, it has had communist rebels scattered throughout luzon & some of the islands. the rich & the catholic church run politics there & exploit the poor. that was the case when i was there.
    we had one of the members who had a sister that lived in baguio city & ran information between the church & the rebels in kalinga apayao who were fighting some dam project back in the 70’s & 80’s. the US presence in the philippines goes back to teddy roosevelt & the spanish american war.

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