Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime

If the Saudi government is indeed behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there should be consequences – political, military, economic, and reputational. Unfortunately, President Trump begs to differ. His reaction to questions about whether the United States would cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia if Riyadh is proven to be behind the killing … Continue reading “Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime”

To Boldly Go Nowhere?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Like many in my generation, undoubtedly including Donald Trump, I went into space early (and I’m not even counting all those hours in my early teens I spent reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy or H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds by flashlight under the covers while supposedly asleep). I’m thinking of … Continue reading “To Boldly Go Nowhere?”

Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington

Who could forget it? There were the $37 screws (no need to say who was getting screwed), the $2,043 nut (McDonnell Douglas made it specially for the U.S. Navy), the $7,622 coffee pot, the $74,165 aluminum ladder, and the $640 plastic toilet seats for the Air Force. All of those examples of Pentagon waste were … Continue reading “Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington”

A Saudi Love Affair in Washington

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Imagine that you paid a special visit to a family you hardly knew halfway around the world and they were so pleased to see you that they spent an estimated $68 million on your welcome, while mounting “festivities” like the one in which you danced with them sword in hand? Yes, … Continue reading “A Saudi Love Affair in Washington”

Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow

Few American exports are more successful globally than things that go boom in the night: Hollywood movies – especially, of course, superhero films, which regularly garner vast international audiences – and advanced weaponry of just about every imaginable kind. As TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert William Hartung points out today, while Donald Trump has been … Continue reading “Selling Arms as if There Were No Tomorrow”

The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What company gets the most money from the U.S. government? The answer: the weapons maker Lockheed Martin. As the Washington Post recently reported, of its $51 billion in sales in 2017, Lockheed took in $35.2 billion from the government, or close to what the Trump administration is proposing for the 2019 … Continue reading “The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers”

2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a cheery note for you: the last mass killing of 2017 took place moments before midnight on New Year’s Eve. A 16-year-old New Jersey boy picked up a semi-automatic rifle, “lawfully acquired” by a member of his family, and killed his father, mother, sister, and a family friend. In doing … Continue reading “2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza”

How To Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. Their role has been to beat the drums (of war) for the major American weapons makers and it’s been a highly profitable … Continue reading “How To Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington”

Obama’s Arms Sales Policy: Promotion or Restraint?

The United States is the world’s leading arms trafficking nation, with $60 billion in arms transfer agreements last year alone. In 2011, U.S. companies and the US government controlled over three-quarters of the international weapons trade. The Obama administration regularly touts the role of US officials in promoting US arms sales. Acting Assistant Secretary of … Continue reading “Obama’s Arms Sales Policy: Promotion or Restraint?”