GOVERNMENTS, military-related industries and armed forces are reeling after peace breaks out worldwide. This development has effectively crippled every military complex on earth leaving them obsolete in a matter of moments.
One General was quoted as saying, “we may not be able to recover from this newest weapon. Our only choice may be to lay our weapons down and go home.”
The U.S and NATO governments, as well as bankers and weapons manufacturers, are in round the clock negotiations on how to deal with this latest threat. Such were my thoughts when I joined 7.4 billion other world citizens in contemplating the UN International Day of Peace on September 21.
War is an insatiable vampire bloated on blood. The most profitable enterprise of man´s pursuits meets the most potent human vice of all, avarice. The major beneficiaries of just two major wars launched by the US government are Lockheed Martin (LMT), Northrop Grumman (NOG) and Raytheon (RTN). These two complexes alone have delivered record-shattering returns to their investors, CEOs and investment banks during the past decade and a half.
The Swiss scientist Jean-Jacques Babel found that during the last 5,700 years humanity fought 14,500 wars with three and a half billion dead. That is half of today’s world population. In 1991 for example there were 52 wars or warlike crises on this earth.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq has cost the United States trillions of dollars and counting. Despite the immense costs to the American people, the military-industrial complex continues to keep the US government on a wartime economy, undermining the domestic social safety net and standard of living of many millions.
No peaceful economic activity can match the immense profits enjoyed by the military-industrial complex in war. This powerful lobby continues to press for new wars to sustain the Pentagon’s huge budget. The costs of almost 15 years of warfare weigh heavily on the US Treasury and electorate. The wars have been dismal failures if not outright defeats. New conflicts have emerged in Syria, Iraq and, now, Ukraine.
The power and influence of the military-industrial complex in promoting serial wars has resulted in extraordinary rates of profit. According to a recent study by Morgan Stanley (cited in Barron’s, 6/9/14, p. 19), shares in the major US arms manufacturers have risen 27,699% over the past fifty years versus 6,777% for the broader market. In the past three years alone, Raytheon has returned 124%, Northrup Grumman 114% and Lockheed Martin 149% to their investors. War profits have soared with the series of military interventions in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
“Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction.” Helen Keller.