The Arms Trade Resource Center

Uddannelsesinstitution grundlagt 1993 i New York fror at fremme begrænsninger i international våbenhandel; under af World Policy Institute. Eksempel på pressemeddelelse fra: The Arms Trade Resource Center: Report Documents Domestic "Axis of Influence" Pushing Missile Defense : Corporate/Conservative Network Leverages Billions in New Spending New York
- A new report from the World Policy Institute documents the role of a well-coordinated network of cash-hungry contractors, conservative think tanks, and military hardliners in promoting the Bush administration's crash program to deploy a multi-tiered missile defense system. "The missile defense lobby no longer needs to rely on its ability to influence the federal government from the outside," notes report co-author William D. Hartung. "Missile defense advocates have staged a virtual friendly takeover of the Bush administration."
While many analysts had assumed that defending against long-range ballistic missiles might take a back seat to other more urgent defense priorities in the wake of the low-tech, high-casualty terror attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the Bush administration has moved full speed ahead with its missile defense agenda. Missile defense spending increased by 43% in FY 2002, and the Bush administration plans to spend at least $32.7 billion on the program between now and 2005, an 85% increase over total spending on missile defense for the last four years of the Clinton administration. Total costs for the deployment and maintenance of a multi-tiered system could easily top $200 billion over the next two decades.
This accelerated investment in missile defense is moving forward despite the existence of serious technical difficulties in the missile defense program, ranging from a pattern of unrealistic testing, to cost overruns and schedule delays for critical components, to reliance on major system elements - like sea-based, boost phase interceptors - that have yet to be designed, much less tested. In response to these major problems, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has chosen to throw a veil of secrecy over the missile defense testing program, limiting Congressional and public access to information on the costs, schedules, and performance of key program elements. "The Pentagon's new approach to missile defense testing is a contractor's dream and a taxpayer's nightmare," notes report co-author Michelle Ciarrocca. "Pumping in more money while reducing outside scrutiny is an invitation to corruption and cost-overruns."
The report questions the ability of the Bush administration to make an objective assessment of the missile defense program in the light of its heavy reliance on former defense contractor executives and investors to staff key policymaking positions in the White House, the Pentagon, the National Security Council and other major agencies. "At a time when corporate scandals are making headlines, the Bush administration's reliance on individuals with ties to the arms industry to fill major posts in the national security bureaucracy deserves far greater scrutiny than it has received to date," notes report co-author William D. Hartung. The report notes that 32 major administration appointees are former executives, consultants, or major shareholders of weapons contractors, including 17 appointees with ties to major (or soon-to-be major) missile defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. Other major findings include:
Contractors cashing in: The Big Four missile defense contractors - Boeing ($3.5 billion), Lockheed Martin ($1.7 billion),TRW ($711 million), and Raytheon ($602 million) - split $6.5 billion in missile defense contracts from 1998 to 2001, accounting for 65% of all awards for that purpose over that time period.
Invasion of the missile defense boosters: In addition to having a longstanding close relationship with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Center for Security Policy, a corporate-backed conservative think tank and longstanding advocate of swiftly deploying an ambitious missile defense system, boasts no fewer than 22 former associates in key positions in the Bush administration, including Secretary of the Air Force James Roche, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Pentagon Comptroller Dov Zakheim, Defense Science Board chair William Schneider, and Defense Policy Board chair Richard Perle.
Contractors flex political muscles: The Big Four missile defense contractors made a total of $7.5 million in PAC and soft money donations in the 1999/2000 and 2001/2002 election cycles, while spending $74 million on lobbying during that same time span. Contractors favored Bush over Gore by a 5 to 1 margin, and Republican congressional candidates over Democrats by almost 2 to 1 (65% to 35%) over the two cycles. Major Congressional beneficiaries of contractor largesse include Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).
The empty pork barrel: Despite contractor claims of economic benefits from missile defense spending, contracts to date have been highly concentrated, with 91% of prime contract awards going to just four states - AlabamA CaliforniA VirginiA and Colorado. Even allowing for subcontracts and expansion of the program, because of its high-tech, low volume nature, missile defense will be a "boutique" program which is likely to benefit a relatively small number of states and communities. The vast majority of states whose taxpayers foot the bill for missile defense will see little or nothing in terms of jobs and income from the program.

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