Database Shows How Revenues of US Defence Giants Have Grown Since 9/11
17:19 GMT 11.09.2021 (Updated: 20:53 GMT 19.10.2022)
The United States military and security apparatus was handed trillions of dollars in cash and dramatically enhanced war and surveillance powers in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. The global war on terror has since expanded to over 70 nations, including direct US military deployments or drone strike operations in over a dozen countries.
US defence contractors have made a cool $7.35 trillion in revenues over the past two decades, an analysis of DefenseNews database
data on individual companies' earnings since 2000 shows.
According to the database, Lockheed Martin Corp, the makers of aircraft, including the infamous F-35 fighter jet, as well as missiles, fire control, and space systems, has seen its revenues more than triple in the past twenty years, from $18 billion in the year 2000, to $63 billion in 2020.
Raytheon Technologies, another whale of a defence firm, that specialises in missiles, missile defence systems, communications, sensors, and radar equipment, saw its revenues jump from $14 billion to $42 billion during the same period. Boeing, the world's third-largest weapons contractor, saw revenues climb from $17 billion in 2000 to $34.3 billion in 2020.
Todd Harrison, a defence budget analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, said that despite the dramatic increases in spending, US military power has not expanded in quantitative terms.
"The size of the military is actually about the same as it was prior to 9/11. We still have many of the same modernisation needs", Harrison said
, speaking to Axios
, which compiled the $7.35 trillion in spending figure.
On top of direct spending to defence companies, America's war on terror has cost trillions of dollars more for other expenses. According to a recent study by Brown University's Costs of War project, Washington's outlays over the past twenty years have included nearly $2.3 trillion in appropriations for Pentagon and State Department operations abroad, and $465 billion for veterans' medical and disability care. $1.11 trillion was also spent on "homeland security", including intrusive domestic surveillance operations. Brown estimates that total war appropriations and war-related spending since 2000, plus future obligations for veterans care, and interest on borrowing, will reach over $8 trillion
by fiscal year 2050. Brown also estimates that about 929,000 people have lost their lives as a direct result of the war on terror.
3 September 2021, 15:00 GMT
In spite of the security spending, it's not clear what the US has gained from its conflicts, with Afghanistan falling to the Taliban in mid-August amid the American withdrawal from the country, and Iraq forcing Washington to pull out all combat troops by the end of 2021 amid regular attacks on remaining US forces in the country by Baghdad-backed Shia militias. Other countries where the US has become involved, including Syria, Libya, and Yemen, have been devastated or even turned into failed states as a result of years of western meddling and interventions.
Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the acts of terror that gave the Bush administration and its successors the pretext to wage war in over a dozen countries, and to ramp up counterterrorism operations in dozens more.