WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
-Two-time Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Corps, Major General Smedley D. Butler
Butler knew he was being used as a pawn for the military and he pointed it out, often. It is important to remember that Butler was saying this about WWI and WWII which were arguably far more justifiable than the wars started over lies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, that premise is exceedingly more obvious.
I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers.
Since Butler preached these profound words, the problem has only gotten worse. In fact, two decades after Butler’s death, president Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell speech, warning about this grave threat.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
Unfortunately, no one in government has been able to resist that unwarranted influence and, once again, we find ourselves on the precipice of a new world war.
Russia’s attack on the Ukraine is laying waste to the lives of innocent civilians, setting the stage for World War 3, and potentially kicking off a nuclear holocaust. But for those who profit from this suffering, they are doing great! They are doing so great, in fact, that their profits have reached historical levels.
In only the first week of fighting, investors have already posted $69 billion in stock gains on the 33 major defense and aerospace stocks in the largest Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) of its kind, the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA), says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.
As Investors.com reports, Northrop Grumman (NOC) already pulled 9% past analysts’ 12-month price target on the stock. Shares are up a powerful 18% since the war began, putting $10.9 billion into investors’ portfolios. It’s a similar story with Lockheed Martin (LMT). Following a 27% run-up just this year, and 16% since the war, shares blasted past analysts’ price target by some 7%.
This is by design and the model has been in place for decades.
Below is a video from 2018 from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), who tracks arms transfers worldwide. There is no mistaking who is at the center of this spending, which is a massive chunk of the $30 trillion Americans owe to the Federal Reserve.
America is the world's largest weapons exporter. I was curious to see what this looks like over time, so I mapped the flows of arms transfers leaving the U.S. from 1950 to 2017. The data comes from @SIPRIorg 's Arms Transfers Database. Full video here: https://t.co/5h1I6B2Xlp pic.twitter.com/WlSW73ZbLT
— Will Geary (@wgeary) July 16, 2018
The revealing video shows that in the 1950s, the majority of US arms went to Europe, Canada, Japan and Turkey. While in the 1960s, Germany was the recipient of the largest amount of U.S. weapons. Iran received the largest amount of U.S. weapons in the 1970s, until the U.S.-backed Shah was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with Israel climbing into second on the list of recipients in the 1970s.
The 1980s saw Japan receive the most weapons from the U.S., followed by Saudi Arabia and Israel, which was largely repeated in the 1990s. In the 2000s, South Korea and Israel received the most weapons exports form the U.S.
From 2010 until 2017, Saudi Arabia topped the list, with Australia next in line. Between 2013 and 2017, the US accounted for 34 percent of total arms exports, an increase of 25 percent from its exports between 2008-2012.
Saudi Arabia remains at the top of that list today as the US sells them weapons and provides material support to help carry out a genocide in Yemen.
Now, the war hawks in DC are already chomping at the bit to expand military spending even further. Adam Schiff D-Wash., who said with confidence in 2020, that the US would bring the war against Russia to the Ukraine, is already exploiting this tragedy he helped to stoke to bolster the Pentagon’s budget.
US chauvinism & warmongering is so ingrained that @AdamSchiff can openly declare, in Jan 2020, that US uses Ukraine to “fight Russia over there,” and our elites applaud. Fast forward two years later when Russia fights back, and the same circle is outraged. pic.twitter.com/6B4QVFSZvV
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) February 26, 2022
“Without question, it’s going to have to be bigger than we thought,” Smith said at an American Enterprise Institute event. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine fundamentally altered what our national security posture and what our defense posture needs to be. It made it more complicated and it made it more expensive. I don’t see much way to argue it.”
Because of Russia’s close ties to China, the war hawks are already pushing for new aircraft, ships, and weapons to engage Russia and China simultaneously — instead of seeking peace.
“Now, Congress and DOD, instead of looking at the overall force structure in terms of being able to meet one major theater war at a time…they’re now forced to look at two almost simultaneous wars and that is going to drive a lot more of a increase in demand for force structure,” said Todd Harrison, director for budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “At a minimum, I think [Democrats] won’t oppose it because it’s hard to, politically, at this point given what we’re seeing.”
As America’s infrastructure crumbles, homelessness reaches epidemic levels, tens of thousands of children go hungry every night, and small business shutter their doors forever, we can take solace in the fact that our fearless leaders are pining away in their marble buildings, pondering the various ways in which they can squeeze what little bit of wealth is left in this country — to fund the demise of humanity in a fiery nuclear holocaust.