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How weapons maker Raytheon determines U.S. foreign policy decisions

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin—Former Member of Raytheon Board of Directors—Has Awarded Over $2.36 Billion in Contracts to Raytheon Since His Confirmation in January, Covert Action Magazine By Jeremy Kuzmarov – April 19, 2021

”…………… One of the Raytheon company founders, Vannevar Bush, became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and chairman of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, which initiated the Manhattan Project that led to the development of the atomic bomb.

In 2003, Raytheon put out a press release bragging that half of all air-to-ground precision guided missiles (PGMs) used by coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom were made by Raytheon.

…………….On February 25th, for example, on a visit to the U.S.S. Nimitz, Austin emphasized the need for U.S. warships throughout the globe to deter security threats—from China to Iran. A week later on a tour of Southeast Asia with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Austin warned about China again and the North Korean nuclear threat and pledged that the U.S. would maintain a robust military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

He further cautioned North Korea that the United States, following military exercises with South Korea, was “ready to fight tonight.”

When fighting resumed in Eastern Ukraine in early April, Austin assured Ukraine’s Defense Minister Andrii Taran of the “U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against [supposed] Russian aggression”–which was demonstrated by a recent $125 million military aid package–and took to Twitter to reaffirm the U.S.’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The latter implied the joining of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which would inevitably escalate conflict between the world’s two major nuclear-armed powers (the U.S. and Russia).

On April 13th, Austin announced that the United States would increase its military presence in Germany by about 500 personnel and was scuttling plans introduced by President Donald Trump for a large troop reduction in Europe.

Austin meanwhile in Tel Aviv affirmed the U.S. “ironclad commitment” to Israel, which receives a record $3.8 billion in U.S. military aid each year, and on a visit to Afghanistan stated that the Biden administration wanted to see a “responsible end” to the Afghan war, but that the “level of violence must decrease” for “fruitful diplomacy” to have a chance.

These comments and many others were music to the ears of Raytheon, which gave $506,424 in donations to Biden’s presidential campaign.

…………….Raytheon was also the first major defense contractor to sell weapons to Saudi Arabiaselling the kingdom over 1,000 cluster bombs designed to maximize civilian casualties between 1970 and 1995. The company further hired members of the Saudi Royal Family as consultants, and opened a branch in Riyadh in 2017.

After the Yemen war began in 2015, Raytheon, according to an analysis by The New York Times, booked more than $3 billion in new bomb sales to the Saudis, causing its stock prices to increase from about $108 to more than $180 per share.

In 2019, Raytheon sold an estimated $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are centrally involved in the war in Yemen.

After an October 2016 Saudi airstrike on a funeral home in Sana’a that killed 140 people and wounded 500 more, human rights workers discovered a bomb shard bearing the identification number of Raytheon.[2]    It was one of at least 12 attacks on civilians that human rights groups tied to Raytheon’s ordnance during the first two years of the war.

In order to secure the lucrative Saudi deals, Raytheon took advantage of federal loopholes by sending former State Department officials to lobby their former colleagues, and later benefitted by having their former top lobbyist, Mark Esper, appointed as Defense Secretary in June 2019 in a precursor to General Austin’s hiring.………..

April 20, 2021 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war

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