$14,401,695 in Military Contracts Awarded to Local Companies in August

Two contracts were awarded last month to local companies for the product of materials necessary for the “war on terror” according to research conducted by Media Mouse.

As part of our ongoing research into local military contractors, Media Mouse has found two contracts—totaling $14,401,695—awarded to local companies during the month of August. The two contracts went to Wolverine Worldwide and Woodward FST with Wolverine Worldwide receiving a nearly $7.8 million dollar contract for shoes that will be used by the Air Force, Army, and Navy, while Woodward FST received a nearly $6.7 million dollar contract for components used in the P100-FW engine that powers the Air Force’s F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. Both companies have previously received lucrative contracts from the military, with Wolverine Worldwide receiving a $20 million contract in July and Woodward FST receiving a nearly $20.5 million dollar contract back in September of 2005 for other components used in the engines that power the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. Both jets have been used extensively in the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. While outside of the area that Media Mouse tracks, work is to be performed by General Dynamics Land Systems in Muskegon as part of two contracts (1, 2) awarded to the company for work on the M1A1 tank.

Last month the Grand Rapids Press ran an article praising Smiths Aerospace for its military work, but as has been the case in local coverage of military contracts, there was no substantive look at how the weapons system would be used or how it fits into the larger context of the military-industrial complex. On August 11 Media Mouse wrote:

The article—like most of the local corporate media’s coverage of military contracts—is problematic in that it fails to investigate several core issues pertaining to “the military-industrial complex and minimizes the fact the that the contract is for a military aircraft that will ultimately be used in the United States’ military campaigns around the world. The term “military industrial complex—first used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961—is generally defined as a coalition consisting of the military and corporations who profit by manufacturing weapons and selling them to the government. This originated in the Cold war with the United States government’s belief that due to the perceived threat of the Soviet Union that there was need for the development of a permanent arms industry. This system has continued over the past forty years, with the military routinely upgrading its technology to having increasingly more effective weapons, although the question of need is rarely addressed. Moreover, some companies have engaged in “war profiteering” in that they make significant sums of money in order to supply the military during each new war. The military-industrial complex is further supported by an extensive network of think-tanks and lobbyists who constitute an effective system of organized advocacy of what has been termed the “military-industrial-think tank complex” that advocates aggressive military policy in order to justify the purchase of weapons systems.

The relationship between war and profits for military contractors was examined earlier this month when a study published by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy found that the CEOs of the top 34 military contractors have doubled their salaries since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the ensuing “war on terror.” The report identified one local corporation with a local presence—L-3 Communications—as one of the top 34 military contractors. The report described L-3 as “satellite, avionics, missile defense, and marine communication” that has actively engaged in the manufacture of materials needed for the “war on terror.” This is true locally where the company has provided a variety of components for military air craft used by the Navy, Air Force, and Army.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org