11.09.2022 Author: Vladimir Platov

Joe Biden, the US Military-Industrial Complex, and Arms Supplies to Ukraine and Taiwan

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It is an open secret that money plays a decisive role in US presidential election campaigns – all those advertisements and consultancy and PR services have to be paid for. Moreover, as the Democrats’ strategy has made clear, organizing street protests and media and other Information campaigns is an expensive business – and a lot of non-budgetary funding is required.

Ever since 1976, during election campaigns Political Action Committees have helped to raise funds for these purposes, and also for advertising and propaganda purposes. In the most recent presidential elections – in 2016 and 2020 – more than a thousand large Political Action Committees (or Super PACs) were registered. Their role was not just limited to raising funds: they were also actively engaged in negative PR and disinformation aimed at discrediting their political rivals. They are the most transparent of fundraising instruments, as every cent is monitored by the national supervisory bodies. According to US media reports, the Super PACs included America First Action, which supported Donald Trump, and Priorities USA, which supported Joe Biden.

During Joe Biden’s campaign it became clear that he was being supported by Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

The armed forces and military-industrial complex traditionally do not get involved in election campaigns, at least on an official level. In reality, there have been well-documented cases in which candidates have tried to curry favor in military circles and thus improve their chances during the election campaign. For example, US media have reported that Joe Biden highlighted the prospects of boosting military spending and increasing armaments orders in one of his campaign promises. The four largest corporations in the US military-industrial complex (the leading manufacturers of armament systems and associated products, frequently including civilian-use products, and also Department of Defense entities) are Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Airbus. It should also be borne in mind that the US military-industrial complex provides regular financing to various US analytic centers to operate research programs which, among other activities, help “form” public opinion in favor of this or that presidential candidate.

The notion that there is a close link between the policies of the White House and the interests of the military-industrial complex is confirmed by the fact – and this is no secret – that the Pentagon budget for this year is no less than $738 billion. And US President Joe Biden has already requested Congress for $813 billion for next year – which is exactly the increase that he promised the military before his election.

Moreover, it turns out that the White House, by provoking Moscow’s special military operation to denazify Ukraine, has fulfilled Biden’s other promises – to provide the US military-industrial complex with more orders for armaments. He is doing this by replenishing America’s own arms supplies, which have become considerably depleted over the last few months as a result of the White House’s provision, on multiple occasions, of support to the Ukrainian army. But that is not all.

Ukraine, as many Western politicians and media outlets now admit, has become a “black hole” for American armaments – and this is a profitable situation for the White House and the military-industrial complex. It enables them to sell even more armaments and thus launder not millions but billions of dollars by means of new dishonest schemes.

To boost this process Washington has even forced its European allies to start pumping weapons from their own arsenals into Ukraine. As a result, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, armaments reserves in Europe have run so low that in July the six largest countries in Europe were, for the first time since Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine had started, unable to give Kiev new bilateral promises of military support. Politico has also confirmed that the major European powers cannot keep up with the levels of military aid being provided by the UK, Poland and the USA. For example Christine Lambrecht, Germany’s Defense Minister, has admitted that arms supplies are running short and the country is reaching the limit of the support that the Bundeswehr can provide Ukraine with. Annalena Baerbock, the German Foreign Minister, has confirmed this, saying that the country has “absolute deficits” in its own stocks.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, has also claimed that EU armaments reserves are running low as a result of supplying Ukraine with military support.

The USA’s European allies are sure to replenish their stocks with new purchases from the US military-industrial complex, taking the opportunity to upgrade their own arsenals and offload older weapons by sending them to Ukraine as part of their “support” for that country. That would explain why, according to media reports, Ukrainian servicemen have on a number of occasions complained that a significant proportion of the obsolete armaments provided by Europe have turned out to be unfit for use. This applies to the Javelin missile systems, which the US military-industrial complex is busy promoting, and which are past the end of their service life…

Washington’s exacerbation of the military tensions in relation to Taiwan and its promise to provide the island with more American armaments in order to “develop its military partnership” with Taipei will provide the US military-industrial complex with new opportunities to sign new multi-million dollar arms contracts and thus boost its profits as a result of the White House’s willingness to “listen to the US military and act in accordance with its interests.”

And the fact that these weapons supplies serve only to draw out military conflicts and that the number of victims is continually increasing is of little concern to the US military and political elites. For them the number one priority is to protect the profits of their own military-industrial complex. After all, the military’s support for the current government is at stake.

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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