We hear all the time about the military-industrial-complex, but what is it, and who’s in it? From Christian Sorenson at covertactionmagazine.com:
While war corporations, or so-called “defense contractors,” make billions in profits, Wall Street is the ultimate beneficiary of today’s nonstop wars. The prosaic nature of war profiteering—far from the work of a shadowy cabal—is precisely why the collusion is so destructive and should be outlawed.
The U.S. ruling class deploys the military for three main reasons: (1) to forcibly open up countries to foreign investment, (2) to ensure the free flow of natural resources from the global south into the hands of multinational corporations, and (3) because war is profitable. The third of these reasons, the profitability of war, is often lacking detail in analyses of U.S. imperialism: The financial industry, including investment banks and private equity firms, is an insatiable force seeking profit via military activity.
The war industry is composed of corporations that sell goods and services to the U.S. government and allied capitalist regimes around the world. Investment banks and asset management firms hold most shares of every major public war corporation.
The best-known financial firms holding the stock of war corporations include: Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Wellington Management.
Consider Parsons, a corporation that sells goods and services pertaining to construction, command and control, espionage, and day-to-day military operations. Parsons’ initial public offering in May 2019, valued at roughly $3 billion, earned it an industry Corporate Growth Award. The top holders of Parsons stock are investment banks and asset management firms—including the familiar Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street.