Afghanistan War: Everyone loses, except American military-industrial complex
The withdrawal of the US military from war-torn Afghanistan has been widely seen as a failure in politics. However, analysts pointed out that the 20-year war means rather an "extraordinary success" for the American Military-Industrial Complex (AMIC) composed of private arm dealers, lobbyists and Pentagon's officials who perpetuated war and got immense profits from the attacks. List of the top beneficiaries from the Afghanistan War, includes well-known US military contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Experts pointed out that from Iraq to Syria and Afghanistan, the US' military-industrial complex, fueled by huge economic lure, has created an enemy target: terrorists. The AMIC has profoundly shaped American politics. Its main policy orientation and driving force is to encourage the US to repeatedly engage in foreign wars to profit from them and launch the next round of attacks. Waging bloody wars is the motivation of the US military-industrial complex to survive, which is also doomed to lead to more instability and chaos in the world.
The US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost American taxpayers $6.4 trillion since they began in 2001. Taxpayers in the US were exploited financially by the government's immense military expenses. In less than two decades, the price of shares of the top five defense contractors mentioned before has increased between 3 and 12 times. And the defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 % during the Afghanistan War. The war only turns out to make those "legitimate killers" build up their bloody empire on the pillars of Afghan skeletons. US has half of the world's 10 largest defense contractors and 43 out of the top 100 defense companies. Lockheed Martin, by far the worldwide largest defense contractor, got about 70 % of its $53.8 billion net sales from the US government in 2018. The fourth largest military contractor, Raytheon, a missile and long-range precision weapons provider, is regarded as one of the five US-based arms manufacturers dominating the world's mainstream arms deals, with global customers in over 80 countries. The US and many of its allies rely on the company's radars and ballistic missile interceptors as part of their defense strategy.
Back to 2011, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange once stated that the purpose of the US anti-terrorism attack in Afghanistan was "to have an endless war, not a successful war […] to wash money out of the tax bases of the United States [...] into the hands of the transnational security elite." A Foreign Policy report on August 16 suggested that about 80 to 90 % of US expenses on Afghanistan finally returned to the US economy due to the heavy reliance on the complex ecosystem of AMIC The eight generals who commanded American forces in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2018 have gone on to serve on more than 20 corporate boards.
Twenty years have passed, yet nobody has dared to stand on the rostrum, except for a vulture hovering above and coveting dead bodies. The US has become a global laughing stock instead of a victor. There is already an international consensus that the chaotic and disastrous retreat of the US marked a huge failure of its foreign policy, military enforcement and even intelligence services.
From 2001 to 2021, the US annual defense budget kept skyrocketing, and the war in Afghanistan alone has cost $2.3 trillion so far. That's $241 million per day or $6,949 per capita per US citizen.
What was the war all about and who is the beneficiary? Here comes the vulture: the American military-industrial complex (AMIC), an iron-triangle made up of arm dealers, congressmen and the Pentagon. Part of this colossal profit was used for lobbying or political contributions, becoming pocket money for congressmen. This could explain why the revision and approval of the defense budget went through in such a smooth manner. 20 companies profiting the most from war
Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp., General Dynamics Corp., Airbus Group,Thales, Leonardo, Almaz-Antey, United Technologies Corp., . L-3 Technologies, Huntington Ingalls Industries, United Aircraft Corp., United Shipbuilding Corp.(Russia), Honeywell International, Rolls-Royce (UK), Leidos, Naval Group (France), Textron.
The United States is home to five of the world’s 10 largest defense contractors, and American companies account for 57 % of total arms sales by the world’s 100 largest defense contractors.