U.S., NATO to expand arms industry, ramp up production

War and industrial policy

The U.S. is sending Lockheed Martin HIMARS rocket launchers to Ukraine, like the one shown here at a military arms convention.

War means industry.

Wars are not fought with global supply chains that crisscross a world where production happens across borders and oceans. War means preparing an industrial base for armaments — from ammunition to tanks and rockets.

So the U.S. and NATO have set up a new industrial production command center in Europe. At the direction of the U.S. Pentagon, a special meeting was held recently in Brussels. According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the meeting was to discuss plans to “expand their [NATO] nations’ industrial base” for building bombs, tanks, rockets and artillery for the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

Since February, the U.S. and NATO have sent tens of billions in arms to Ukraine. Washington’s military contribution has led by a significant margin, giving almost $70 billion to Ukraine in just over seven months.

The special meeting was reported in the New York Times on Sept. 28. The headline said: “Meeting in Brussels Signifies a Turning Point for Allies Arming Ukraine.”

According to the Times, “The top priority for the discussions was increasing ammunition for howitzers and rocket artillery, a senior U.S. defense official said.”

The rockets are produced by Lockheed Martin; howitzers are from Britain’s BAE, the largest defense contractor in Europe. Production is to be ramped up.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the two top arms manufacturers in the world – yes, the world, not just in the U.S. They are the top two of the five corporations that get 90% of Pentagon contracts. The other three are Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics. 

The five together are the infamous U.S. military-industrial complex. (U.S. Secretary of Defense Gen. Lloyd Austin was on the Raytheon board of directors when Biden picked him.)

Number six in Pentagon contracts is Britain’s BAE.

Buildup began in 2014

The New York Times noted that the U.S./NATO military buildup in Ukraine began in 2014:

“The effort to send weapons made by the United States and other Western nations to [Ukraine] began … in 2014. The United States, Britain and Germany formed a group called the Joint Military Commission that began sending weapons and military trainers to Ukraine.”

In Ukraine, the so-called Maidan coup in 2014 was openly supported and financed by NATO. The coup installed a government that made NATO membership a policy mandate. (Watch the Oliver Stone-produced documentary “Ukraine on Fire” to see the U.S. State Department’s active role in the Maidan coup.)

Many Ukrainians resisted the Maidan coup, particularly in the working class. In the Maidan civil war, fascist gangs such as the Azov Battalion emerged as a force for the coup. Resistance to the coup was strongest in the eastern section of the country. 

In Odessa, a neo-Nazi, pro-Maidan gang targeted the House of Trade Unions near the center of the resistance. The building was firebombed and at least 46 anti-fascists and labor activists were burned alive or shot to death.

The resistance to the Maidan coup has continued from 2014 to today. The independent Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic were created when the people there voted overwhelmingly (89% and 96%) to secede from the Maidan regime. They have been subjected to continuous attacks since then.

The U.S. has turned the neo-fascist Ukraine army, including the Azov Battalion, into a military force owned, armed and trained by NATO and the Pentagon.

Along with expanding the arms industry, the New York Times reported Sept. 29 that the Pentagon plans to set up a new command center for its Ukraine armaments and its proxy forces in the war effort. 

The Times says, “The system would be placed under a single new command based in Germany that would be led by a high-ranking U.S. general, according to several military and administration officials.”

The newspaper adds, “The new command, which would report to General Cavoli, would carry out the decisions made by the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a coalition of 40 countries that the Defense Department created after the Russian invasion to address Ukraine’s needs and requests.

“About 300 people would be dedicated to the mission, which would be in Wiesbaden, Germany, the U.S. Army’s headquarters in Europe. Much of the training of Ukrainian soldiers on U.S. weapons systems is already taking place there or nearby,” the Times concludes.

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