If you were wondering who benefits from our endless wars and far flung military empire, look no further. These are the mega-corporations who love war. They profit from death and destruction. You provide the tax dollars to pay them and shed the blood on battlefields on their behalf. Do you think they are upset about Putin’s incursion into Crimea? Do you think these companies played any part in fanning the flames of revolution in the Ukraine?

Do you think their lobbyists in Washington DC push for further involvement in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you think they pay the neo-con pundits on Fox to spew propaganda about imminent threats to our security?

The incestuous relationship between the Pentagon and these companies would make your skin crawl. There are literally thousands of former officers and government bureaucrats employed by these traitorous fucks. When you read one of the hundreds of Op-Eds about the horrific defense cuts, you can be sure they were funded by these pricks.

Know your real enemy. We did not heed Eisenhower’s words.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”


1. Lockheed Martin
> Arm sales 2012: $36 billion
> Total sales 2012: $47.2 billion
> 2012 profit: 2.7 billion
> 2012 employment: 120,000

In 2012, Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) led the world in arms sales, even as its arms sales declined slightly from $36.2 billion in 2011 to $36 billion in 2012. Such sales accounted for 95% of the Maryland company’s total revenue. The company, which employed 120,000 workers as of 2012, specializes in aerospace, global security and information technology systems for the military. It is also known for the C-5 Galaxy Class airplane — the largest air military transport plane in the world. Lockheed Martin has been the largest recipient of government procurement contracts and the top-ranked company on the Washington Technology Top 100 for 19 consecutive years. However, this has also left the company exposed to changes in the federal budget. In October 2012, at the request of President Obama, the company held off on firing thousands of workers that it previously warned it would have to lay off due to military spending cuts.


2. Boeing
> Arm sales 2012: $27.6 billion
> Total sales 2012: $81.7 billion
> 2012 profit: $3.9 billion
> 2012 employment: 174,400

Although arms sales accounted for just 34% of Boeing’s revenue in 2012, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was still the world’s second largest military contractor that year. In all, the company’s total revenue was nearly $82 billion in 2012. The company’s commercial airplane segment accounted for a large portion of its sales, with $49.1 billion in revenue that year. Boeing ended 2012 with $3.9 billion in profit and with more than 174,400 employees. Last year, Boeing and union workers in Washington state engaged in heated negotiations, with Boeing threatening to move jobs away from the state unless union workers agreed to concessions related to their pension plan.

3. BAE Systems
> Arm sales 2012: $26.9 billion
> Total sales 2012: $28.3 billion
> 2012 profit: $2.6 billion
> 2012 employment: 88,200

BAE Systems is the largest non-U.S. military contractor. It had $26.9 billion in arms sales in 2012, which represented some 95% of the company’s total sales. However, the British company’s year-over-year arms sales declined that year from $29.2 billion in 2011. Cuts by England’s Ministry of Defence have taken a toll on the company. As the U.K.’s largest military contractor, it received 13.7% of procurement funds spent in 2012 to 2013. In May 2012, the company announced it would close its Armstrong plant — which made tanks for the nation in World War I and had been in operation since 1847 — and cut 330 jobs as a result. BAE’s failed $45 billion merger with fellow defense contractor EADS in 2012 also hurt prospective sales of England’s main fighter jet, the British Tornado, for which BAE makes the parts.

4. Raytheon
> Arm sales 2012: $22.5 billion
> Total sales 2012: $24.4 billion
> 2012 profit: $1.9 billion
> 2012 employment: 67,800

While Raytheon’s 2012 arm sales of $22.5 billion were slightly lower compared to 2011, they remained high enough for the company to rank fourth among arms companies. The company, which traces its history back to 1922, assisted the United States in multiple wars, as well as the Apollo 11 moon landing. Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) provides services in a variety of fields, from air and missile defense to radar and cybersecurity. In all, 92% of the company’s sales came from arms sales in 2012. But while the U.S. has cut defense spending in recent years, Raytheon has benefited from a surge in exports to foreign countries, which has helped to offset federal government belt-tightening.


5. General Dynamics
> Arm sales 2012: $20.9 billion
> Total sales 2012: $31.5 billion
> 2012 profit: -$332 million
> 2012 employment: 92,200

Like many of its defense-sector competitors, Virginia-based General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) felt the sting of the decreased U.S. military spending. The company, which specializes in aircraft, land and expeditionary combat vehicles, and shipbuilding, lost $332 million in 2012, and its arms sales totaled $20.9 billion, down from $23.3 billion the year before. The loss was due, in large part, to a $2 billion goodwill charge related to declining business opportunities in the defense sector. In its most recent year, the company reported a 16.4% drop in sales in its combat systems group, for which the U.S. Army is major customer.


6. Northrop Grumman
> Arm sales 2012: $19.4 billion
> Total sales 2012: $25.2 billion
> 2012 profit: $2.0 billion
> 2012 employment: 68,100

Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) specializes in producing unmanned systems, missile defense radars and critical incident response systems. In February 2012, the U.S. Navy awarded the company a contract worth as much as $638 million to provide Navy ships with a networked common computing environment. In January of that year, the Navy also began using Northrop’s high-altitude drone to monitor activity in Iran. Last year, the company was awarded nearly $8.6 billion in such contracts, second-most of any company in the nation. The company’s arms sales, which totaled more than $19 billion in 2012, accounted for 77% of its total revenue that year. The company’s 2012 profit was nearly $2 billion.


7. United Technologies
> Arm sales 2012: $13.5 billion
> Total sales 2012: $62.2 billion
> 2012 profit: $5.2 billion
> 2012 employment: 218,300

United Technologies Corp.’s (NYSE: UTX) 2012 arms sales increased from the year before, the only company in the top 10 ranking with a year-over-year increase in its arms sales. The company recorded $13.5 billion in arms sales in 2012, up from $11.6 billion in 2011. The company’s total profit that year was $5.2 billion, third among all arms companies. Its Sikorsky division, known for the Black Hawk and Seahawk military helicopters, accounted for $4.5 billion in arms sales that year. Its Pratt & Whitney division, which produces aircraft engines, accounted for $3.7 billion in 2012 arms sales. The company also sold parts of its Hamilton Sundstrand subsidiary in July 2012 for $3.5 billion to a venture led by private equity managers, The Carlyle Group and BC Partners. The sale helped United Technologies fund its more-than $16 billion purchase of aircraft parts maker Goodrich to expand further into the commercial aerospace sector.


8. L-3 Communications
> Arm sales 2012: $10.8 billion
> Total sales 2012: $13.1 billion
> 2012 profit: $782 million
> 2012 employment: 51,000

L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LLL) moved down a notch in the rankings from the previous year. The company’s 2012 arms sales totaled $10.8 billion, down from $12.5 billion the year before. Still, arms sales accounted for 82% of L-3′s total 2012 sales. The company has four main business units: secure communications, electronics systems, platform and logistical solutions, and national security solutions. In July 2012, L-3 spun off its government services business into a standalone company, called Engility. With the spinoff, L-3 aimed to limit its exposure to cuts in government spending on defense contractors.

Read more: Companies Profiting the Most From War – The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) – 24/7 Wall St.
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  1. “Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas.

    The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich.

    Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they create a desolate wasteland, they call it peace.”

    Tacitus, Calgacus’ Speech from Agricola

  2. Investors, don’t forget, as Country Joe reminded you years ago , “There’s plenty good money to be made by supplying the Army with the tools of its trade.”

    Remember too, investors, that gung-ho guys are easily sucked in while saying, “What are we fighting for ? Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn.”

    With Congress stampeding with, “Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,” you too can be.” the first one on your block to have your boy come home [with his many medals] in a box.”

  3. who in the government decides which contractor gets taxpayer money is my question?

    is it the politicians on the appropriations committee?

    its hard to believe these private companies exist solely on taxpayer money.

  4. its also hard to believe that a select few of incompetent senators or reps get to appropriate billions in bilked tax money to a dozen or so contractors so we can start meaningless wars and shed innocent blood.

    and then idiotic Americans wonder why the world hates us and why everyone wants to destroy our power and vice grip on the world’s financial system.

  5. And just imagine how 9/11 has increased these profits – no use having a MIC if there aren’t any enemies and wars to go after.

    Or perhaps – making a market is a reasonable activity for those in a military, for-profit, organization.

  6. The defense and logistics businesses are like a herd of leeches all sucking blood out of taxpayers rear ends.

    I did it myself until I realized who I was feeding on and quit.


  7. Insane levels of defense spending are bad, but the resulting unseen opportunity costs are far more egregious in terms of this nation’s economic well being. We will never really know how many new businesses, technologies, good ideas, and jobs that never came into existence a result of the higher taxes and countless other hidden and indirect costs associated with playing the role of the world’s top cop. I suppose that it could be argued that any savings from a downsized military-industrial complex would be absorbed by quickly enlarging social justice programs and increasing subsidies to international corporations, big farmers, ethanol distillers, and thousands of other “worthy” causes designed to separate earners from their incomes. Sadly, that view might hold water given our political culture.


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