Truth is that the global war industry is out of control and can not see a way out of this whole meme. After all you buy weapons in order to inflict some cost of your apparent opponents. Even when no apparent opponent has the slightest interest in attacking you.
We have such a communion in the EU and in NAFTA but no office of the Presidency which has been sorely needed as they become a free target for politicians needing targets. Such an office could have stopped BREXIT and altered the approach used by Trump who is prone to open negotiations by presenting the worst case and then allowing himself to accept an improved version.
The U.S. war industry is out of control. It has been since 1945. It finances political campaigns, thereby purchasing loyalty from elected officials. It funds the D.C. think tanks, thereby controlling the narrative and ensuring new ‘threats’ are always hyped. It advertises on national media, thereby forestalling the slim chance a corporate journalist might bravely challenge the need for endless war. It is up to an educated citizenry to remedy this situation. Understanding the following contracts, which have been issued since the start of 2018, is a crucial part of forming an educated, mobilized citizenry.
On January second, Georgia Tech received $7,190,037 to maintain and improve the information systems that support the Special Access Programs (SAPs), nominally controlled by the Secretary of Defense. SAPs are numerous, often redundant, and compartmentalized to the extreme. Worse yet, there is not a single person in the U.S. government who has access to, let alone understands, all of the SAPs out there.
What does this mean? It means that the U.S. government bureaucracy, specifically the so-called intelligence community, is out of control. The intelligence community is not a benevolent protector. It is a bloated, privatized beast. It is a giant boulder rolling down a slippery hill – sucking up greenbacks as it goes – and trampling the rights of every person on the planet, regardless of citizenship or country of origin.
What are the implications of Georgia Tech’s role? Instead of focusing on programs of social uplift or peaceful scientific advancement, Georgia Tech continues U.S. academia’s disgusting tradition of supporting Pentagon research priorities. It also means that SAPs are even more vulnerable to the United States’ official enemies; outsourcing maintenance of Special Access Programs leads to less oversight, weaker operational security, and greater opportunity for espionage. No matter how you slice it, this contract ultimately spells disaster for all parties involved.
On January twelfth, Sotera Defense Solutions received $10,271,933 for work on a DARPA project titled "Technology Demonstrations & Assessments Using a Data Science Approach to Situation Understanding for Counter Insurgency Operations.” Known simply as “TDA for COIN,” this project provides the cesspool known as Washington, D.C., with yet another means by which to control and exploit targeted populations.
Sure, right now DARPA counter-insurgency programs are largely aimed overseas. The Pentagon has, after all, spent the last decade and a half churning through the best bad guys a war corporation could desire, the menacing Arab savage. Now the war industry is back to square one, the fearsome Russian. It is only a matter of time before the industry runs out of tried and true baddies and commits fully to searching the “Homeland” for other threats. Everyone is a suspect.
The next U.S. revolution will feature the people against the oligarchy. By the time it arrives, those in authority will turn technology like “TDA for COIN” inward against the U.S. populace. All of your electronic data is already being stored, sifted, and analyzed. Programs like the ones Sotera is helping design will facilitate oppression of a rising citizenry. But by the time revolution rolls around, the technological playing field will be so lopsided that the public versus the oligarchical government will be akin to a junior varsity high school team scrimmaging professional All-Stars.
On January twenty-third, Lockheed Martin received $33,916,629 to introduce a “potentially virulent code” on the national cyber range “without compromising the range.” Lockheed Martin will then study the effects. What could possibly go wrong? Context is important. Lockheed Martin and her ilk profit from fear and global instability. Furthermore, the Pentagon exists to serve the war industry, not the other way around. Given that context, this contract clearly allows the primary beneficiary of crisis and war to be in a position to manufacture more crises and pretexts for war. Regrettably, the Pentagon demonstrates that it is perfectly willing to allow the fox to guard the henhouse. Though, in this case, the fox is shaking the very foundations of the entire farm in order to sustain wanton profit. A government for the people and by the people would never allow these greedy corporations to tinker with cyber vulnerabilities on a national scale.
On January thirtieth, Lockheed Martin received $80,250,000 to ramp up Hellfire production capacity to 11,000 missiles per year. The U.S. war industry has been operating at full steam for the past seventeen years. Now, this contract tells us, war industry giants believe there is a reason coming down the pike to increase production capacity. Is it war with Iran? Expanded operations in AFRICOM? A full-fledged shift against President Assad’s forces in Syria? An all-out assault on North Korean artillery? The U.S. war industry is expecting more sustained, high-tempo hostilities in the not-too-distant future. You’ve been warned.
On January thirty-first, Boeing received a $6.5 billion extension to develop Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), bringing total expenditures to over $12 billion on this contract alone. GMD is part of the United States’ ballistic missile defense system (BMDS). True to form, the Pentagon awarded this contract without free, open, or fair competition. Mishandling U.S. taxpayer dollars is par for the course.
Two facts must be stressed before embarking on any rational discussion of ballistic missile defense. Firstly, neither Iran nor North Korea – the two countries that war industry think tanks cite as ‘threats’ to the continental United States – possesses the capability to reach the U.S. mainland. Secondly, BMDS is one of the biggest cash cows in the U.S. war industry portfolio. It is designed to be a cash cow. And the results are calculatingly dismal; even in highly controlled tests where the Missile Defense Agency knows every important detail (including launch site, pre-planned trajectory, range, and missile type), MDA still can’t hit the incoming ballistic missile with any regularity. The whole point of the system is to hoard taxpayer dollars with no accountability. It’s working like a charm, from the boardroom’s perspective.
What makes this contract really disturbing? The United States boasts the worst wealth gap in the nation’s history. Millions of U.S. Americans live in poverty, don’t have enough to eat, lack affordable housing, and are denied adequate educational opportunities. The money behind this Pentagon contract could have helped. Divide $12 billion a million ways. That’s a good chunk of change for those in need. Instead, U.S. Congress opts for corporate welfare; the war industry is stealing billions from the people. This is a criminal enterprise, plain and simple.
The U.S. war industry is out of control. Only an educated citizenry can remedy the situation. Understanding how the war industry operates is just one step towards achieving peace and economic justice in our lifetime.