No Lives Matter: Theaters of War and the US Military Industrial Complex


By Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

3rd June, 2016

*Whilst geopolitics is much more complex than simply defence contracts, it is important to understand what exactly the US gains from incursions that do not benefit them in the medium to long term. For a greater insight into this seemingly absent motive, read this Fort Russ article: Israel’s realism creates irrational US policy against Russia in the Middle-East. Please note that this article about the MIC focuses on airstrikes from conventional jets, and not drones*

Since the founding of the United States of America in 1776, the country has been at war 93% of the time – 222 out of the 239 years of its existence. While we are familiar with depictions of field artillery and Enfield rifles being used in the American civil war, today the weapons we see being used by America in combat are very different.

William S. Lind has written extensively about the evolution of warfare, from the early days of the First generation, to the current days of the Fourth generation. As technology progressed in conjunction with developments in scientific paradigms, it wasn’t long before warfare could be conducted from the air. 

In today’s post-modern world, media consumers are seemingly used to seeing footage on their televisions of country ‘X’ being bombed. No other country has embraced aerial warfare like the US has post WW2, with companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon becoming richer with every bomb dropped, and with every jet shot out of the sky. The infographic below illustrates how the US lobbying system works with regards to defence companies offering politicians cash in order for a theatre of war to remain open. 

As a result of this parasitical structure leeching on US taxes, the US has been and continues to be the world leader in military expenditure. The table below from the World Bank shows how the US are spending roughly twice as much on ‘defence’ as their nearest rival – Russia – who is actually now curbing spending (quality, not quantity). 

According to the Federal Procurement Data System, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman Corporation are the top 5 contractors for the US government for the fiscal year of 2013. 

In 2015, the top 5 contractors were Lockheed Martin, Boeing,
General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. In fact, this pattern is true for every single year since the turn of the millennium. 

The above information, while alarming in itself, requires some context to really see the darkness surrounding the US air force. What follows are some examples of the US Military Industrial Complex doing what it does best – ‘blindly’ dropping munitions for financial profit. 

Nagasaki – 1945

On Demember 7th, 1941, the Japanese military attacked a US military base known as Pearl Harbour on Hawaiian territory. Prior to the attack, the US placed an Oil Embargo on Japan, their most valuable export, crippling the country. Japan fell for the trap and retaliated, giving the US their much needed reason to enter World War 2. Apparently, dropping 2 nuclear bombs on 2 Japanese cities was deemed an appropriate response to the attack on a naval base that wasn’t even in American territory. 

Vietnam & Laos – 1965-1973

A classic example of the Military Industrial Complex swimming in profits is the Vietnam war. The US had no intention of ‘winning’ the war, and merely wanted to drop munitions. Huey helicopters were deliberately sent over areas where central command knew they’d be brought down, and ‘spare’ bombs were dropped ‘anywhere’ over Laos (like in the video below) and Vietnam in order to fulfil quotas. The stocks must be depleted to warrant a new order. 

New Baghdad – 2007

Bradley Manning, a US army analyst, released a video of a US AH-64 airstrike on civilians in Iraq. The attacks were conducted using 30mm rounds and killed 20 people, including 2 journalists (Reuters). AGM-114 Hellfire missiles were then unleashed at the building the civilians fled into. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail for daring to show the world just how vile the American military can be.

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Belgrade – 1999

After a prolonged period of fighting with the Kosovo Liberation Army, Slobodan Milosevic, the President of Serbia at the time, became a target for NATO forces which, after Belgrade refused to allow foreign troops on its territory, launched a military campaign all over Yugoslavia to force Serbian forces away from Kosovo. Even though a US F117 Nighthawk was shot down, it was not enough to prevent the partition of Yugoslavia. Javier Solana, the Secretary General of NATO at the time, made the following announcement on the eve of the bombings:

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,

I have just directed SACEUR, General Clark, to initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

I have taken this decision after extensive consultations in recent days with all the Allies, and after it became clear that the final diplomatic effort of Ambassador Holbrooke in Belgrade has not met with success.

All efforts to achieve a negotiated, political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative is open but to take military action.

We are taking action following the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Government’s refusal of the International Community’s demands:

Acceptance of the interim political settlement which has been negotiated at Rambouillet;Full observance of limits on the Serb Army and Special Police Forces agreed on 25 October;

Ending of excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.

As we warned on the 30 January, failure to meet these demands would lead NATO to take whatever measures were necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

NATO has fully supported all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the efforts of the OSCE, and those of the Contact Group.

We deeply regret that these efforts did not succeed, due entirely to the intransigence of the FRY Government.

This military action is intended to support the political aims of the international community.

It will be directed towards disrupting the violent attacks being committed by the Serb Army and Special Police Forces and weakening their ability to cause further humanitarian catastrophe.

We wish thereby to support international efforts to secure Yugoslav agreement to an interim political settlement.

As we have stated, a viable political settlement must be guaranteed by an international military presence.

It remains open to the Yugoslav Government to show at any time that it is ready to meet the demands of the international community.

I hope it will have the wisdom to do so.

At the same time, we are appealing to the Kosovar Albanians to remain firmly committed to the road to peace which they have chosen in Paris. We urge in particular Kosovar armed elements to refrain from provocative military action.

Let me be clear: NATO is not waging war against Yugoslavia.

We have no quarrel with the people of Yugoslavia who for too long have been isolated in Europe because of the policies of their government.

Our objective is to prevent more human suffering and more repression and violence against the civilian population of Kosovo.

We must also act to prevent instability spreading in the region.

NATO is united behind this course of action.

We must halt the violence and bring an end to the humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding in Kosovo.

We know the risks of action but we have all agreed that inaction brings even greater dangers.

We will do what is necessary to bring stability to the region.

We must stop an authoritarian regime from repressing its people in Europe at the end of the 20th century.

We have a moral duty to do so.

The responsibility is on our shoulders and we will fulfil it.

Baghdad – 2003

After falsifying evidence at the UN in the form of a mock vial of anthrax and cartoons of “mobile weapons labs” (with the help of Judith Miller), which supposedly tied Al Qaeda to Iraqi officials via a supposed meeting in Prague, the US was given the green light to launch Operation Shock & Awe – to bombard Iraq back into the stone age. In true fourth generation warfare fashion, CNN streamed the bombings live, as Americans and Europeans alike celebrated the decimation of an invisible enemy. Accurate statistics on the number of civilian casualties, not just from the bombing of Baghdad, but also from the campaign in Iraq as a whole is difficult to find. The table below is taken from the Iraq Body Count project, and offers a low-end estimate; ORB International offers 1.2 million as the highest figure. 

The top 10 defense contracts in 2002 before the US obliterated Iraq were as follows:

  1. Lockheed Martin Corp –  $17.0 billion
  2. Boeing – $16.6 billion
  3. Northrop Grumman Corp – $8.7 billion
  4. Raytheon – $7.0 billion
  5. General Dynamics Corp – $7.0 billion
  6. United Technologies Corp – $3.6 billion
  7. Science Applications International Corp – $2.1 billion
  8. TRW Inc – $2.0 billion
  9. Health Net, Inc – $1.7 billion
  10. L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc – $1.7 billion

Gaza – 2012

Every year, the US gives Israel a forgiven loan to the sum of ~$3bn, which is then used to buy weapons from American ‘defence’ companies. 2012 was not an unusual year for Gazans, who are now used to waking up to rubble, should they wake up at all… 

In the video below, the Israeli Airforce’s weapon of choice is the F-16, manufactured by what is now Lockheed Martin:

Mosul – 2016

In April, 2016, the US-led coalition bombed Mosul University as part of Operation Conquest – another mission aimed at sending the Middle East back to the stone age. The pretext used on this occasion was that ISIS had started to use the chemistry labs at the University to manufacture chemical weapons.  F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, and B-52s have all featured in the Gulf War 2.0, which surely has put a smile on Lockheed shareholders’ faces.

Syria – 2014

Whilst the video below is a report on a US airstrike from 2014, the reality is that these ‘accidental’ attacks on civilians and infrastructure are as common as a day ending in ‘y’. While the US and allies violate Syrian airspace (Assad didn’t invite anyone from the coalition) every single day, the results of the war crimes are masked by falsified reports from State Department bullhorns like CNN, New York Times, Fox News etc, which aim to flip the blame 180° onto Russia or the Syrian Army. As a supplementary note, multiple instances of Israel’s bombing of Syrian Arab Army positions have been documented by numerous sources. 

Afganistan – 2008

Before Iraq could be used as the next theatre of war for US war toys, Afghanistan needed some ‘democracy’ – specifically the highly-profitable Opium fields. Osama Bin Laden, the man who the US trained and mentored in the 80’s, was hiding somewhere in an underground cave, and was somehow invisible to the sophisticated technology at the disposal of the Pentagon… The best way to ensure he was found was to carpet bomb the country, or at least that’s what Dick Cheney and his Military Industrial Complex ‘partners’ said….

Yemen – 2016

On November 16th, 2015, Reuters reported that the US had approved the sale of $1.29bn worth of smart bombs (Boeing and Raytheon) to Saudi Arabia. Previously, the Saudis had purchased patriot missile defence systems from Lockheed Martin totalling $5.4bn. The video below (double tap on Yemeni civilians) shows how a Boeing F-15 ensured stock prices would continue to rise:

Tripoli – 2011

In a North African version of the bombing of Belgrade, NATO  launched 20 airstrikes at Tripoli on the 19th March, 2011. Instead of Milosevic being the ‘bad guy’, this time it was Gaddafi. No one really knows why the government’s SAM systems were left in the hanger, but it can be assumed that the NATO would have upped the dosage even if the Libyan Army had deployed the systems. The video below shows one example of many war crimes committed in Libya that year, with the purpose of creating the Jihad factory that would soon spread to neighbouring Syria and Iraq. 

Donetsk – 2014

While the bombings of Donetsk and Lugansk by the Ukrainian Army did not feature a Western-manufactured jet, the order to kill certainly came from the Pentagon, who are still licking their lips at the thought of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. Much like Saudi Arabia and Israel, the government in Kiev is also receiving military ‘aid’ from Washington, London, and other EU lapdogs. Perhaps Kiev is gullible enough to buy the F-35, although to purchase a single unit would require a phone call to the IMF…

Lugansk – 2014

The reader should be aware that the US is currently bombing Somalia using the usual pretext of “combatting the Islamic State”. Unfortunately, the general public will never find out about the vast majority of US illegal airstrikes due to the boardroom of companies like Disney being littered with shareholders of genocidal corporations like Lockheed Martin.

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