[pjw] INFO: Upcoming events, recent news, Top 10 Military Contractors (Nat'l Priorities 6/12)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu Jul 16 19:37:36 EDT 2015

First, quick reminders-- our Quarterly meeting is at 12:30 PM on Saturday, 
preceded at 12 by a vegetarian potluck, and followed at 2:30 by the 
"Report from Viet Nam", all at the St Francis Dining Hall at SE 11th and 

Also, we're doing a bike ride at 1 PM Sunday to hang up flyers for the 
"Zones Project." If you didn't RSVP yet but want to come please do so-- we 
have to know how many posters to make. (Side note-- they are kind of 
costly, so if you want to donate specifically to the Zones project we 
likely need $100 to cover costs...)

Next, there's a lot of news about what's going on in the world. The 
biggest news about the nuclear deal with Iran (which, of course, Congress 
could still scuttle) led to this interesting set of comments collected by 
Foreign Policy in Focus:

Below is an article the Iraq Affinity Group wanted to be sure to share out 
listing the top 10 contractors with the Pentagon (which came from the 
National Priorities Project).

Other items we noted at our meeting last week:

--Former US military personnel urge drone pilots to walk away from
     controls (Guardian, June 17)

--An article by David Swanson about the non-violent movement for change
   in Iraq (Couterpunch, July 2):

--and, the AFP reported on June 17, all of Syria's chemical weapons
   have been destroyed (remember, that was the supposed reason that the
   US was going to launch a massive war in 2013... until ISIS gave them
   a reason to conduct a low-intensity war instead last year.)

More soon!
--dan h
peace and justice works / iraq affinity group


Pentagon Prize Time: Top 10 Federal Contractors
    By Lindsay Koshgarian
    Posted: June 12, 2015 | Military & Security

    In fiscal year 2014, the United States government paid out an
    astounding $444 billion in federal contracts. That's equivalent to
    almost forty percent of the federal discretionary budget for 2014.

    Who got all that money, and what for? Here's a rundown of the top 10
    federal contractors in 2014. Hint: all of the top 10 contractors are
    for-profit companies, and all of them owe their status to militarty
    spending - something worth keeping in mind as Congress engages in
    battle over government spending levels for the Pentagon versus every
    single other priority, including health care, education, and job

10. Huntington Ingalls Industries, $4.7 billion.

    Huntington Ingalls describes itself as "America's largest military
    shipbuilding company."

9. BAE Systems, $5.0 billion.

    BAE Systems traffics in "defence, aerospace and security solutions"
    (and yes, they are a British company with significant operations in the
    U.S.), with products ranging from amphibious combat vehicles to "hyper
    velocity projectiles."

8.  L-3 Communications Holdings, $5.8 billion.

    L-3 bills itself as a "prime contractor in aerospace and national
    security solutions."  Its products include explosive detection systems
    and holographic weapons sights, among others.

7. United Technologies Corporation, $6.0 billion.

    UTC is a parent company for defense contractors Pratt & Whitney, UTC
    Aerospace Systems, and Sikorsky. Pratt & Whitney is the maker of the
    F-35 jet fighter engine, among others, while Sikorsky is the maker of
    the Black Hawk helicopter.

6. McKesson Corporation, $6.2 billion.

    On its face, health care solutions company McKesson appears to be the
    lone non-military contractor among the group. But even McKesson would
    not be where it is without our country's penchant for Pentagon
    spending:  it gets $4.2 billion in contracts from Veterans' Affairs,
    and an additional $1.6 billion directly from the Department of Defense.

5. Northrop Grumman Corporation, $10.3 billion.

    Northrop Grumman bills itself as providing "unmanned systems,
    cybersecurity, C4ISR, and security" solutions. Northrop Grumman makes
    the Air Force's A-10 Thunderbolt II (also known as the "Warthog"),
    among others.

4. Raytheon Company, $12.6 billion.

    Raytheon's business includes missile defense, electronic warfare,
    precision weapons, and more, including Tomahawk and Patriot missiles.

3. General Dynamics Corporation, $15.4 billion.

    General Dynamics provides aerospace, combat systems, marine systems,
    and more, including Abrams tanks, MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush
    Protected) vehicles, and nuclear submarines through its Electric Boat

2. Boeing, $19.6 billion.

    Boeing specializes in fighter jets, rotorcraft, advanced weapons, and
    missile defense, including Minuteman missiles, the V-22 Osprey
    aircraft, and the F-15 aircraft.

1. Lockheed Martin, $32.2 billion.

    That's 7% of all federal contracts, and the equivalent of three percent
    of discretionary spending in 2014, to just one company.

    That company saw over $5.5 billion in profit, and paid its CEO more
    than $34 million in 2014. And the $32 billion it received from the U.S.
    government made up more than seventy percent of its total sales.

    And Lockheed's signature product? The F-35 jet fighter, which despite
    being in development since 2001, and being billions of dollars over
    budget, is not yet combat ready. The F-35's top initial selling point?


     Source: Federal Procurement Data System.

    Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly claimed that
    Lockheed Martin paid its CEO $70 million in 2014. The correct figure is
    $34 million.

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