According to Common Dreams, up to half of the estimated $14 trillion that the Pentagon has spent in the two decades since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan has gone to private military contractors.
Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and General Dynamics are among the largest corporations that have benefited from the cost war. But numerous other firms also benefited greatly.
This information comes from a paper written by William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy.
The report was released a few days after the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and as the U.S. finalizes military ties in Afghanistan.
Hartung says in his introduction, corporations large and small have been, by far, the largest beneficiaries of the post – 9/11 surge in military spending. Some of these corporations and profits that are widely considered legitimate. Other profits for the consequence of questionable or corrupt business practices that amount to waste, fraud, abuse, price-gouging or profiteering.
“The magnitude of Pentagon spending in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was remarkable. The increase in U.S. military spending between the Fiscal Year 2002 and Fiscal Year 2003 was more than the entire military budget of any other country, including major powers like China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France,” Hartung writes.
Weapons makers have spent $2.5 billion on lobbying over the past two decades, employing, on average, over 700 lobbyists per year over the past five years. That is more than one for every member of Congress, reports Watson Institute at Brown University.