Reining in the excess profits of weapons contractors and preventing waste, fraud, and abuse by private firms involved in supporting U.S. military operations will ultimately require reduced spending on war and on preparations for war. So far, unfortunately, Pentagon budgets only continue to rise and yet more money flows to the big five weapons firms.
Failed wars and thousands of lives lost are good for (some) business, writes William Hartung.
The costs and consequences of America’s twenty-first-century wars have by now been well-documented — a staggering $8 trillion in expenditures and more than 380,000 civilian deaths, as calculated by Brown University’s Costs of War project. The question of who has benefited most from such an orgy of military spending has, unfortunately, received far less attention.
Corporations large and small have left the financial feast of that post-9/11 surge in military spending with genuinely staggering sums in hand. After all, Pentagon spending has totaled an almost unimaginable $14 trillion-plus since the start of the Afghan War in 2001, up to one-half of which (catch a breath here) went directly to defense contractors.
‘The Purse is Now Open’
The political climate created by the…
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