War Profiteers

WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair
WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair

Economics is one of the key causes of war - wherever there is a military conflict, someone is profiting from it. We call this "war profiteering".

WRI looks at war profiteering in a broad sense - we consider all companies and initiatives that benefit financially from military conflict as war profiteers, in some sense. This includes the arms trade and companies profiteering for the privatisation and outsourcing of the military, but also those extracting natural resources in conflict zones, financial institutions investing in arms companies, and many others.

WRI publishes a quarterly magazine called War Profiteers' News (in English and Spanish), and organises events to bring campaigners and researchers together to share strategies against war profiteering. In 2017 we will gather members and friends of the WRI network in London, for a seminar called “Stopping the War Business”. Campaigners will share experiences and strategies of countering the arms trade and other war profiteers. The seminar will take place at the same time  as the DSEI arms fair, where we will also take nonviolent direct action together. In 2015, we organised a similar event in Seoul, South Korea, which took place at the same time as the ADEX arms fair.

During the last week of July War Resisters' International celebrated our International Conference "Globalising Nonviolence" with more than 200 participants from all continents and more than 30 countries.

The stated aims of the conference were:


making nonviolence more central in the global movement of resistance to war and economic domination

adapting nonviolent analysis and strategy to the threats we face today, and

consolidating and reviving our antimilitarist, nonviolent, global network.

It can be questioned if it wa

Editorial

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This issue of The Broken Rifle focuses on war profiteers. During War Resisters' International Conference "Globalising Nonviolence" that took place in Eringerfeld Germany between the 23-27 of July 2006, we had a theme group who worked on war profiteers. This theme group was an essential step in the develop of WRI's Global Initiative Against War Profiteers. Most of the material you will find in this issue comes from the work of that week.

War profiteers depend mainly on government contracts. Imagine what Lockheed Martin would be without their Pentagon contracts! At the same time governments need an excuse for spending such huge sums of money e.g. "war against terror", "national security", "peace forces", etc. Since war profiteers depend on government contracts they need to be in the position to influence them. Through the years they have positioned themselves to have an immense political power within governments, and they enjoy privileged access to decision-makers that the general public can only dream of.

War profiteers are not only those that benefit from the arms industry, but also those that impulse military action and elaborate strategies to profit from war. Among war profiteers we can include:

Large private corporations

Here we refer to the transnational and multinational corporations that need control over our natural resources and our national territories in order to support their hegemonic project and so that relations of economic and political solidarity cannot be improved (which would permit true development of Latin American countries).

The Honeywell Project

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A case study on a nonviolent campaign against war profiteers

The Honeywell Corporation was based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Honeywell produced cluster bombs (bomblets), small steel ball bearings embedded in a steel shell. When this antipersonnel weapon explodes, the steel ball bearings shoot out 2, 200 feet per second. Honeywell also made other weapons and civilian products.

Report from the "Globalising Nonviolence" theme group

During WRI International Conference "Globalising Nonviolence" we had a theme group on the topic of war profiteering. Meeting every day of the conference, we were able to go through a process of learning about war profiteers, campaigns against them, and explore how WRI's Global Initiative Against War Profiteers can help groups in this important work.

The aims of this theme group were:

The world's #1 military contractor, responsible for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes, F-16, F/A-22 fighter jet, and Javelin missiles. They've also made millions through insider trading, falsifying accounts, and bribing officials.

Editorial

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We are happy to present our 2nd edition of War Profiteers' News.

In this edition, we highlight the cancellation of Halliburton's exclusive Iraq deal. At the same time we present what is happening in Cabinda where WRI affiliate Union Pacifiste from France is supporting a local campaign for the respect of human rights in Cabinda and against the pollution of the mouth of the Congo River. In this issue, we also inform about Caterpillar's shareholders meeting in Chicago, where the issue of the use of their equipment for demolishing Palestinians homes was again raised.

The Pentagon has taken an important first step by canceling the contract for Halliburton 's military logistics contract in Iraq and putting it up for open bid. Halliburton has only itself to blame for shoddy management, over-charging and thumbing its nose at military investigators.

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