USA is known for simply getting involved in conflicts it shouldn’t be involved in. The most weird part about America’s wars is its pretexts on which it goes to war with other countries. They use all sorts of very beautiful terms like “restoring liberty and freedom”, “Ending the tyranny of Mr. so and so” and all sorts.
America’s business is war. It thrives on money made out of war. America’s history proves that.
During World War II, America loaned weapons to Britain so that they could fight the Nazis. They made huge profits out of that. And that was partly a reason why the British were nearly impoverished as a result.
Today’s scenario isn’t so different. America has fought numerous wars and has been involved in so many places. After the World War it was Korea, then Vietnam, then Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Afghanistan and lastly Iraq. America won all wars except in Vietnam. The Vietnam campaign was an absolute disaster.
Eisenhower had once remarked about how dangerous the Military-Industrial complex in America was and how far it influences United States politics. People fear it now. People do understand what they are dealing with, but there is very little they can do to change it.
Now when America goes to war, the economy booms. After America declares war on a country, it becomes all very easy textbook economics with concepts like supply and demand. So who is benefiting? They include:
1. Weapons manufacturers
These are the most obvious benefactors of a war. War obviously requires guns, rockets, missiles, bullets, artillery, shells and everything else that is used to fight a war. The manufacturers face a boom. The orders are big. And the orders for ammunition is even bigger. There is always plenty of weapons and plenty of ammunition when America fights its battles. America’s military budget accounts for 50% of the world’s military spending. Every year, America invests in new military hardware. They may include new ships, new jets, new guns and a lot of new things. During war, weapons manufacturers become rich, they spend on military research, get new innovations in the battlefield, patent it, manufacture it and the cycle repeats itself.
Consider the fact that each soldier carries at least 3 weapons including a primary weapon, a secondary weapon and a knife. Multiply that by the thousands of troops that go to war along with the ammunition and vehicles. Wouldn’t that cost you a bomb?
At the end of the day, the weapon manufacturers are the ones that benefits the most.
2. Vehicle Manufacturers.
During a war, mobility on the ground is very important. Vehicles on the ground are used for various other things other than just transport men to the battlefield. They may be used as minesweepers, bridge layers, ambulances, attack vehicles etc. During war, vehicle manufacturers face a boom. Those Humvees you see rolling in BBC and CNN are manufactured right in the USA. The Pentagon has a big budget for those. And the budget even covers other vehicles like Strykers, M-1 Abrams, and the rest.
3. Military Aircraft manufacturers
Air support is very important in war and America uses its air force to the maximum when it comes to war. Aircraft is used for ground support, air superiority, air patrol, transporting troops and equipment, fire support, surveillance and training pilots. The Pentagon has a huge budget for new fighter jets, transport planes, AWACS aircraft, helicopters, attack choppers etc. Wartime is a bonus for these manufacturers and they churn out more aircraft than ever during these times. Also, there is a need to manufacture spare parts in case of breakdowns and technical snags. Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Fairchild, McDonell Douglas, Northrop-Grumman and other companies will be happy to tell you that the Pentagon is their most favourite customer.
4. Communication equipment manufacturers
Communication is a crucial element in the battlefield. There are so many modes of communication. Communication equipment firms produces plenty of radio sets, antennae, satellite communication equipment a lot of other stuff that is used in order to conduct communication. These also face a boom during a war. Communication technology is something that develops as each day passes. Every time there is an upgrade, the Pentagon uses it and inducts it into the armed forces. So wartime is Christmas for communication equipment manufacturers.
5. Armour specialists
Providing armour to military assets is a good business. Firms are involved in manufacturing Kevlar vests for the soldier in the field to the manufacturing of armour for vehicles. Armour is a very expensive affair and when the Pentagon issues a budget for war, Armour firms get a nice piece of it.
6. Packaged food contractors.
For a war, there needs to be the continuous supply of food for the soldiers. Soldiers generally eat this very disgusting packaged food made just for the military. It is given just to fulfil your body’s nutritional needs. Sometimes though, real food is given to the soldiers, especially during festivals like Thanksgiving and Halloween. This huge amount of food is provided by contractors manufacturing these Ready to eat meals. Catering contractors make a lot of money that way.
7. Surveillance equipment manufacturers
Now, every war requires a good amount of actionable intelligence. For that you require enough surveillance equipment. There is a need for cameras, sensors, recorders, binoculars, telescopes, night vision goggles and other things. These toys are pretty expensive. Of course, manufacturers do provide a discount when bought in bulk, but nevertheless, it eats up a big chunk of the American military budget.
8. Other Peripheral equipment
There are various scenarios in war. Sometimes there could be threat of chemical and biological weapons and you require special equipment like bio-chemical suits for that. You also need gas masks and antidotes as well as sensors for radiation. So many such other equipment is needed too. The list is really long but they do include things like torches, sunglasses, headsets etc.
9. Clothing and shoe manufacturers
Uniforms needs to be made for soldiers. There are thousands of troops in the battlefield and they all require uniforms. They also have to make gloves, socks and other innerwear. Same goes for boots. And each soldier won’t have just one pair of uniform, they’ll have many. Multiply that with the thousands of American troops that go out to war. That is really going to cost you a bomb.
10. Oil and allied industries.
Last but not least, is oil. For your vehicles to work, you need oil. For electricity, you need oil. You need oil for almost everything when you go to war. Oil refineries and Oil drills are some of the biggest benefactors as a result of the huge demand for oil and other petrochemicals. This is why in order to conduct its wars, the US tries so hard to secure oil from all around the world. Oil is also a reason for war. Nobody can find any other justified reason for the American invasion of Iraq and nobody can answer the question of why the Americans are thinking of putting boots into Libya. But at the back of our heads, we know its all about the oil.
So when you hear that America has a Trillion dollar military budget, you shouldn’t be so surprised. Look at where all the money is going!
Copyright © 2011 AshwathKomath