news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 21, 2014 | 9.37 am IST

Judging by the stock markets for the last three months, it appears that it is five or six companies which manufacture and supply arms for the US military. 

Robert Fisk, a Beirut-based journalist who has extensively covered the Middle East, writes in The Independent that Lockheed Martin’s shares went up 9.3 percent in the last three months, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman’s shares went up by 3.8 percent. 

By way of familiarizing readers with what Lockheed Martin does, Fisk says: “Lockheed Martin – which really does steal Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers quotation on its publicity material – makes the rockets carried by the Reaper drones, famous for destroying wedding parties over Afghanistan and Pakistan, and by Iraqi aircraft.”

Giving a comparison of how much these weapons cost, Fisk says: “And don’t be downhearted. The profits go on soaring. When the Americans decided to extend their bombing into Syria in September – to attack President Assad’s enemies scarcely a year after they first proposed to bomb President Assad himself – Raytheon was awarded a $251m (£156m) contract to supply the US navy with more Tomahawk cruise missiles. Agence France-Presse, which does the job that Reuters used to do when it was a real news agency, informed us that on 23 September, American warships fired 47 Tomahawk missiles. Each one costs about $1.4m. And if we spent as promiscuously on Ebola cures, believe me, there would be no more Ebola.”

Maverick Missle

Image Courtesy: Raytheon 

Read: Ebola outbreak shows weaknesses in current international health delivery systems

Fisk also quotes a journalist with the French news agency Agence France-Presse Dan De Luce who wrote: “The war promises to generate more business not just from US government contracts but other countries in a growing coalition, including European and Arab states… Apart from fighter jets, the air campaign [sic] is expected to boost the appetite for aerial refuelling tankers, surveillance aircraft such as the U-2 and P-8 spy planes, and robotic [sic again, folks] drones… Private security contractors, which profited heavily from the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, also are optimistic the conflict will produce new contracts to advise Iraqi troops.”

Read more about Fisk’s take on how the military action against Isis is creating more recruits for the group, and the strategies of the countries carrying out the military action, at The Independent.

(Image above: nodronesflorida.blogspot.com)

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