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”

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?”

Bush’s Prescription for More War

President Bush’s alleged new strategy for Iraq, outlined in a mercifully brief prime time speech last night, is a recipe for disaster for Iraq, the United States, and the region. For Iraqis, the prospect of stepped-up US military action in Baghdad will spur a sharp increase in civilian casualties, sectarian violence and recruitment by al-Qaeda … Continue reading “Bush’s Prescription for More War”

Iraq Study Group:
How Big a Change?

Today’s release of the Iraq Study Group report [.pdf] raises as many questions as it answers. A few highlights of the report and its 79 recommendations follow. Troop Withdrawals? Despite some early headlines suggesting that the Iraq Study Group would be calling for a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the beginning of … Continue reading “Iraq Study Group:
How Big a Change?”