Who benefits?

Corporations, according to the Supreme Court, are legally equivalent to “natural persons.” These patriotic corporate citizens are normally satisfied with the day-to-day political influence which brings them little (or no) taxes, subsidies ($1.5 billion to Big Oil) and immunity from criminal prosecution for damaging us. But when it’s wartime for the troops it’s showtime for the elite. A War For Freedom has to be financed, so the banks’ profits jump. We neeed equipment, so armaments makes a bundle. And Big Oil pumps up its profits with high octane. United They Stand, The Sky’s The Limit. Let all the casualties be on the battlefield, not on Wall Street, because not all natural persons are created equal. So the Pentagon starts deploying troops and writing ‘corporate welfare’ checks to benefit corporations. We make war to make profits. It’s a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight, and corporations plus their congressional friends are behind it all. Think of it as War, Inc.

Here are the 10 companies that profit the most from war:

1. Lockheed Martin (LMT) — aircraft, electronics, missiles, space
Arm sales:$36.3 billion, total sales: $46.5 billion
Gross profit: $2.7 billion, total workforce, 123,000
Lockheed Martin notched $36.3 billion in sales in 2011, slightly higher than the $35.7 billion the company sold in 2010. The arms sales comprised 78% of the company’s total 2011 sales. Lockheed makes a wide range of products, including aircraft, missiles, unmanned systems and radar systems. The company and its employees have been concerned about the effects of the “fiscal cliff” and sequestration, the latter of which includes significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense. In the fall of 2012, the company planned on issuing layoff notices to all employees before backing down at the White House’s request.

2. Boeing (BA) — aircraft, electronics, missiles, space
Arm sales: $31.8 billion, total sales: $68.7 billion
Gross profit: $4 billion, total workforce: 171,700
Boeing was the second-largest U.S. government contractor in 2011, with about $21.5 billion worth of goods contracted. The Chicago-based company makes a wide range of arms, including strategic missile systems, laser and electro-optical systems and global positioning systems. Despite all these technologies, just 46% of the company’s total sales of $68.7 billion in 2011 came from arms. Boeing is the largest commercial airplane manufacturer in the world, making planes such as the 747, 757 and recently, the 787 Dreamliner. The company is also known for its space technology Boeing had $1 billion worth of contracts with NASA in 2011.

3. BAE Systems — aircraft, artillery, electronics, vehicles, missiles, ships
Arm sales: $29.2 billion, total sales: $30.7 billion
Gross profit: $2.3 billion, total workforce: 93,500
BAE Systems was the largest non-U.S. company based on arms sales. Arms sales represented 95% of the company’s total sales in 2011 even though they were lower as a total of overall sales compared to the prior year. The products BAE sells include the L-ROD Bar Armor System that shields defense vehicles and the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer that provides sophisticated simulation training for military pilots. In 2013, the company said its growth would likely come from outside the U.S. and Great Britain its home market. BAE noted that its outlook for those two countries was “constrained,” likely due to the diminished presence in international conflicts and government budget cuts.

4. General Dynamics (GD) — artillery, electronics, vehicles, small arms, ships
Arm sales: $23.8 billion, total sales: $32.7 billion
Gross profit: $2.5 billion, total workforce: 95,100
With 18,000 transactions in 2011, General Dynamics was the third-largest contractor to the U.S. government. Of those contracts, approximately $12.9 billion worth went to the Navy, while an additional $4.6 billion went to the Army. The company’s arms sales in 2011 comprised 73% of total sales. Arms sales in 2011 were slightly below 2010 levels. The company makes a host of products, including electric boats, tracked and wheeled military vehicles, and battle tanks. The company announced layoffs in early March, blaming mandated federal budget cuts.

5. Raytheon (RTN) — electronics, missiles
Arm sales: $22.5 billion, total sales: $24.9 billion
Gross profit: $1.9 billion, total workforce: 71,000
Raytheon, based in Waltham, Mass., is one of the largest defense contractors in the U.S. The company makes the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, among others. Arms sales comprised about 90% of the company’s sales in 2011 though they as a total they were lower than in the prior year. The slide hasn’t let up. Total sales in 2012 fell 1.5%, and Raytheon is expecting sales to fall 3% in 2013, a projection which doesn’t take into account the effects of mandated budget cuts. The company can rely on overseas customers to somewhat offset weak sales at home. As of January, approximately 40% of the company’s backlog was booked overseas. The company expects approximately a 5% increase in international sales in 2013.

6. Northrop Grumman (NOC) — aircraft, electronics, missiles, ships, space
Arm sales: $21.4 billion, total sales: $26.4 billion
Gross profit: $2.1 billion, total workforce: 72,500
Northrop Grumman’s 2011 arms sales comprised about 81% of total sales even after a sharp decline in arms sales year over year. The company attributed the decline to reduced government spending on defense projects. Nevertheless, the company was more profitable than in the prior year.

7. EADS — aircraft, electronics, missiles and space
Arm sales: $16.4 billion, total sales: $68.3 billion
Gross profit: $1.4 billion, total workforce: 133,120
The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), based in the Netherlands, had sales in 2011 roughly in line with the prior year. Arms sales comprised just 24% of the company’s revenue. EADS and BAE Systems unsuccessfully attempted to merge for $45 billion in 2012, which would have created the world’s largest aerospace company. The deal collapsed in October after German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concerns about the merger.

8. Finmeccanica — aircraft, artillery, engines, electronics, vehicles and missiles
Arms sales, $14.6 billion, total sales: $24.1 billion
Gross profit: $ -3.2 billion, total workforce: 70,470
Italian company Finmeccanica makes a wide range of arms, including helicopters and security electronics. Nearly 60% of the company’s sales in 2011 were in arms. Finmeccanica lost $3.2 billion in 2011. The Italian company is currently fending off allegation that it paid bribes to win an approximately $750 million contract to provide 12 military helicopters to the Indian government in 2010. The then-head of the company, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested in February but has denied wrongdoing. Other executives, including the head of the company’s helicopter unit, have been replaced, and the company has delayed the release of recent financial results.

9. L-3 Communications (LLL) — electronics
Arm sales: $12.5 billion, total sales: $15.2 billion
Gross profit: $956 million, total workforce: 61,000
Some 83% of L-3 Communications sales in 2011 came from arms sales, but this was down from what it sold the prior year. The company has four business segments: electronic systems; aircraft modernization and maintenance; national security solutions; and command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Among many products manufactured, the company has become a major provider of unmanned aircraft systems.

10. United Technologies ( UTX) — aircraft, electronics, engines
Arm sales: $11.6 billion, total sales: $58.2 billion
Gross profit: $5.3 billion, total workforce: 199,900
United Technologies makes a wide range of arms notably military helicopters, including the Black Hawk helicopter for the U.S. Army and the Seahawk helicopter for the U.S. Navy. The company was the biggest employer in the top 10 though arms sales accounted for just 20% of revenue. UTX also produces elevators, escalators, air-conditioners and refrigerators. International sales comprised 60% of the company’s revenue in 2012.
— Based on a SIPRI report reviewd by 24/7 Wall St. and reported by USAToday.

Now it’s called the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, as weapons manufacturers have assembled sub-contractors in every state, e.g. the F-22 has a thousand of them in 42 states. On any war or bombing issue most establishment Republicans and Democrats are in favor and most of them are hungry for military spending in their districts. Even the honest representatitives are seduced by Pentagon dolars flowing into their districts. Some examples, from their websites:

Abercrombie, Neil , 1st HI \par
The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the 2009 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, which contains $553 million in military construction funding for Hawaii requested by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and authorized in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act.

Adler, John H. , 3rd NJ
Congressman John Adler announced today that military bases in southern New Jersey will receive more than seven million dollars in federal investments for construction, facility improvement, and energy efficiency projects. These projects, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Adler helped pass into law, will improve the quality of life for local troops and their families.

Altmire, Jason , 4th PA
As part of his on-going efforts to keep good paying jobs in the Alle-Kiski Valley, U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04) today delivered $800,000 in federal funding to Curtiss-Wright Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD) to help them develop an advanced propulsion motor for the U.S. Navy’ s new electric drive ships.

Arcuri, Michael A. , 24th NY
U.S. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24) released the following statement today in opposition to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates\rquote recommendation to terminate the new Marine One Helicopter program, which is led by Lockheed Martin in Owego: ” Our troops deserve the best protection while serving our country and so does our Commander-in-chief. I strongly disagree with the Secretary of Defense\rquote s proposal to drop the Marine One program. I will continue to work with Congressman Hinchey and our two U.S. Senators to ensure that the Commander-in-chief receives the best protection, and that our neighbors in Owego at Lockheed Martin continue doing the work.”

Bartlett, Roscoe, 6th MD
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett Announces $25.7 Million in Additional Federal Funding that He Secured for Defense Projects by Companies in District Six and Maryland in the FY 2009 Budget.

And they work together on getting more military dollars.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, the entire Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations united in a joint effort to create new, good-paying jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) in Kittery, Maine. In a letter to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, the bipartisan group of lawmakers urged the Department of Navy to increase the permanent workforce at the Maine-based shipyard to help mitigate weakness in the regional labor market and increase overall employee productivity and quality of life.

“A recent, detailed study by the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University revealed that the war on terror has cost the US economy, so far, from $3.7 trillion (the most conservative estimate) to $4.4 trillion (the moderate estimate). Then there are interest payments on these costs – another $1 trillion. That makes the total cost of the war on terror to be, at least, a staggering $5.4 trillion. And that does not include, as the report mentions, “additional macroeconomic consequences of war spending”, or a promised (and undelivered) $5.3 billion reconstruction aid for Afghanistan. Who’s profiting from this bonanza? That’s easy – US military contractors and a global banking/financial elite. The notion that the US government would spend $10 billion a month just to chase a few al-Qaeda types in the Hindu Kush is nonsense.” — Pepe Escobar

“War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September [2011]. Fifty percent of our discretionary spending goes for the Pentagon. A massive transfer of wealth into the hands of a few while the American people lack sufficient jobs, health care, housing, retirement security.” — Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Why don’t we do the right thing?

“When mainstream media complains about the war — they do so carefully, because too many people in this country benefit in one way or another from the American warfare-welfare state. To do the right thing at the national level will cost the government — Republicans and Democrats — credibility (Why did we go? Why didn’t we come home sooner?) and budget justification (no war on terror through occupation and aggression, no need for DHS, or a half trillion a year Pentagon budget). To do the right thing will cost — in the short term — actual jobs in districts who get tax dollars for products relating to maintenance and expansion of our global military empire.”–Karen Kwiatkowski

So we don’t do the right thing because citizens and their representatives think that they benefit from war.

Actually, they don’t, as Smedley Butler said: ” It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.”

The Smedley Butler Society, along with this website, was originally started to end the Iraq war. Along with the efforts of milions of people around the world, this effort was unsuccessful. The war in Iraq cost more than three trillion dollars ($3,000,000,000,000.00) to execute. Every bullet fired, every bomb dropped, every MRE eaten, every helicopter shot down, every missile fired, every truck destroyed by an IED, every oil well guarded, every uniform worn, and every body bag filled translated into a slice of that money going to a corporate war profiteer. Halliburton, KBR, United Defense, the Carlyle Group, independent military contractors like Blackwater and a crowd of American oil companies are still counting the riches they earned from their participation in the carnage.