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, with corporate behemoths such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and General Dynamics hoovering up much of the money.
Published just days after the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and two weeks after the last U.S. military plane departed Afghanistan, the paper documents the extent to which the massive post-9/11 surge in Pentagon spending benefited weapon makers, logistics firms, private security contractors, and other corporate interests.
But those five corporate giants are far from the only companies that profited from the increase in U.S. Defense Department outlays following the Afghanistan invasion, which ultimately killed more than 46,000 Afghan civilians. Hartung notes that numerous other firms—including Erik Prince’s since-rebranded Blackwater, the Dick Cheney-tied company Halliburton, and DynCorp—benefited handsomely from the Pentagon spending boom.
“This is problematic because privatizing key functions can reduce the U.S. military’s control of activities that occur in war zones while increasing risks of waste, fraud, and abuse,” he writes. “Additionally, that the waging of war is a source of profits can contradict the goal of having the U.S. lead with diplomacy in seeking to resolve conflicts.”Up to Half of the $14 Trillion Spent by Pentagon Since 9/11 Has Gone to War Profiteers – scheerpost.com