Monday, October 20, 2014

War Profiteers

The respected war correspondent, Robert Fisk, writes that share prices are soaring in America for those who produce the coalition bombs and missiles and drones and aircraft participating in the latest war in Syria and Iraq.

Shares in Lockheed Martin – maker of the Hellfire missiles – are up 9.3 per cent in the past three months. Lockheed Martin makes the rockets carried by the Reaper drones, famous for destroying wedding parties over Afghanistan and Pakistan, and by Iraqi aircraft.

Raytheon – which has a big Israeli arm – has gone up 3.8 per cent. 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. On 23 September, American warships fired 47 Tomahawk missiles. Each one costs about $1.4m.

Northrop Grumman shares swooped up the same 3.8 per cent. And General Dynamics shares have risen 4.3 per cent.

Dan De Luce’s dispatch on arms sales for the French news agency,Agence France-Presse . “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 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.”

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