War is profit. The U.S. war industry consists of the corporations that manufacture, market, and sell goods and services to the Department of War and allied regimes around the world.

 

An informed public can remedy this situation. Understanding the following trends from April 2018 contracts is a crucial part of forming an educated, mobilized citizenry.

 

EXPANDING THE PENAL COLONY

 

U.S. Empire is expanding its primary penal colony, in which it cages the detritus of global war.

 

The Office of Military Commissions (OMC) manages the Expeditionary Legal Complex (ELC) at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The ELC is where military tribunals take place.

 

On 20 April 2018, URS Group Inc. received roughly $14.5 million to expand the ELC at Guantánamo. URS Group will construct admin buildings, storage facilities, and a holding cell.

 

No post-9.11 government facility is complete without a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). As Priest and Arkin reported, SCIFs are a measure of status in the post-9.11 world. URS Group will build several SCIFs for the upgraded ELC.

 

URS Group is a long-time supporter of U.S. Empire’s outpost in Guantánamo. There, it has refurbished a water desalinization plant, built a dining facility, and replaced a pier.

 

The Pentagon has expanded Guantánamo steadily since September 2001. As Newsbud reported in February, RQ Construction is building a ‘Contingency Mass Migration Complex’ at Guantánamo. RQ Construction has previously repaired Wharf Bravo and repaved blacktop around the Naval Station.

 

Other recent improvements to Guantánamo include, but are not limited to building a new school (pre-K through 12), constructing new family housing units, refurbishing a beacon tower, laying fiber optic cable, and upgrading an electrical substation.

 

U.S. Empire’s unrestrained expansion leads us to our next trend, invasive aircraft.

 

UPKEEP OF INVASIVE AIRCRAFT

 

On 17 April 2018, L-3 Technologies received $30 million to keep the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of C-12 aircraft up and running.

 

The C-12 is an invasive reconnaissance aircraft. The Pentagon appreciates it for its ability to suck up all sorts of electronic data, including smart phone communications. Many of its sensors are run from the U.S. via satellite uplink.

 

As part of the contract, Vertex Aerospace, the division of L-3 in charge of C-12 logistics, will support military operations in Accra, Ghana; Ankara, Turkey; Bangkok, Thailand; Bogotá, Colombia; Brasilia, Brazil; Budapest, Hungary; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cairo, Egypt; Gaborone, Botswana; Manila, Philippines; Nairobi, Kenya, Rabat, Morocco; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

 

Previous contracts involving C-12 aircraft (3 Nov. 2014, 20 Oct. 2015, 30 Aug. 2016) awarded to L-3 have also cited Islamabad as a destination for L-3 contractors. Given Washington’s rocky relationship with Islamabad, it is not surprising that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has paused L-3’s presence inside Pakistan.

 

The locations where U.S. C-12 aircraft are deployed – including Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia – provide an informative snapshot of where U.S. Empire has roamed on its global war. USSOCOM alone has forces in 149 countries.

 

The Philippines, Colombia [.pdf], Morocco, and Turkey are well-known hubs of U.S. Empire.

 

Ghana, Botswana, and Kenya are top of the list for intensifying USAFRICOM operations. USAFRICOM has expanded consistently since its establishment in 2007.

 

But what might U.S. Air Force C-12 aircraft be doing in Buenos Aires and Brasilia? If history is any indication, C-12 aircraft are helping right-wing military forces (currently supporting Presidents Macri and Temer) keep an eye on dissent.

 

The people of Argentina and Brazil have suffered greatly under dictatorships, which lasted through the mid-eighties. Argentina’s Dirty War is not just a distant memory. Neither is Brazil’s military dictatorship.

 

Prosecution of endless global war needs high-tech hardware and software in addition to penal colonies and deployed military platforms.

 

INFORMATION COLLECTION

 

On 13 April 2018, General Dynamics received $144 million to operate, maintain, and expand the global U.S. Battlefield Information Collection & Exploitation System Extended (US BICES-X).

 

BICES-X allows units that operate different intelligence hardware and software to communicate and share information easier. General Dynamics’ work on BICES-X aims to create a single intelligence-sharing ‘environment’ (usually in the form of a computer terminal, though smart devices are being considered). This environment would be compatible with existing intel software and feature drone feeds, periodic IT upgrades, and voice chat.

 

BICES-X is an ambitious project because it aims to achieve interoperability among disparate nations and across inert Pentagon bureaucracies. General Dynamics will certainly ask for more money down the road in order to achieve this goal.

 

On 12 April 2018, five corporations received a cumulative $950 million for “Agile Cyber Technology 2.” The five corporations – all relatively boutique organizations whose profits and trades have boomed since ‘cyber’ started getting hyped as a ‘threat’ to the ‘homeland’ – will facilitate contracting processes between the Air Force Research Lab, its directorates, corporate interests, and U.S. military cyber units. Such work will focus on developing more powerful and precise cyber capabilities.

 

These war industry products – BICES-X and Agile Cyber – show that the war of terror is not slowing down. These products point to the future traits of global war: smaller footprints, farther reach, lighter gear, more powerful computing, and ultimately a more coercive presence.

 

The aforementioned products comprise just a drop in the ocean in terms of money spent.

 

LOAVES OF BREAD

 

Exorbitant contracts are part and parcel of the U.S. war industry. The corporate behemoths that control the Pentagon know they can set their price, free from any genuine budgetary oversight.

 

Food insecurity inside the United States is at record levels, yet on 4 April 2018, six corporations, including L-3 Communications and DynCorp, received a shared $25.5 billion to maintain and modify aircraft and military equipment. This includes managing a portion of the Pentagon’s supply chain. Work will take place mostly overseas. If a loaf of bread costs about four dollars, then $25.5 billion can purchase over 6 billion loaves of bread, easily feeding everyone suffering from food insecurity in the U.S.

 

The U.S. war industry won’t allow that. Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s number one war corporation, looms tall. On 18 April 2018, Lockheed Martin’s branch in Huntsville, Alabama, received nearly $1 billion to get to work developing a hypersonic conventional strike weapon. The U.S. military already has enough firepower to destroy all life on Earth many times over. Yet, because war is a racket, corporations are constantly researching new ways to destroy the latest enemy-of-the-day. Squandering tax dollars to develop redundant weaponry instead of caring for the people is the defining characteristic of the U.S. war industry.

 

EMPIRE’S CORRUPTION

 

U.S. Empire is reinforcing its foundations: prison, invasive aircraft, intelligence platforms, and global logistics, all of which operate without financial limit; the U.S. war industry continues to metastasize.

 

Endless war only helps Wall Street and war profiteers.

 

Meanwhile, millions in the United States live in poverty, lack affordable housing, and are denied adequate educational opportunities. And the bodies pile up abroad.

 

There is plenty of money to alleviate such misery, but U.S. Congress, bought off by the war industry, ignores the people’s needs.

 

Understanding the nature of the U.S. war industry is the first step to remedying this situation.