In December, the Pentagon got a $768 billion budget approved, despite the withdrawal from Afghanistan, with the aim to counter China and build Ukraine’s military strength. This has been a bonanza for arms makers like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Gruman.
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Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes popped the champagne open when saying “…[W]e are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales. We just have to look to last week where we saw the drone attack in the UAE, which have attacked some of their other facilities. And of course, the tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.”
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we saw a spike in these companies’ stock prices.
In our latest episode, we talk about arms manufacturers with William Hartung of the Quincy Institute. We discuss how the war in Ukraine, potential conflict in the South China Sea and wars in Yemen and other parts of the world are critical to their business model. We also talk about how the bureaucracy of the Pentagon and Washington D.C. gives these companies so much influence.
And we discuss how Pentagon spending drastically overshadows spending on critical issues like the climate crisis and social programs.
William D. Hartung is Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and an expert on the arms trade, Pentagon spending and strategy, and nuclear weapons policy. His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.