It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Giant weapon makers are not the only ones cashing in on US wars. Unbeknownst to the public, the companies behind some the most familiar household name brands constitute the backbone of what has mushroomed into a military-corporate complex of "civilian" firms which rake in huge profits while helping the Pentagon to carry out its wars and foreign occupations. Unsurprisingly, at least five of these companies have seen their contracts with the Defense Department skyrocket since 9/11.
1. BP: The oil giant, perhaps most famous for dumping 206 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico last year, is also a perennial power when it comes to Pentagon contracts. Back in 2001, BP nabbed a cool $357 million in contracts from the Department of Defense. Last year, the number hit $1 billion and it’s no secret why. As defense-tech writer Noah Shachtman noted at Foreign Policy last year, the U.S. military burns “22 gallons of diesel [fuel] per soldier per day in Afghanistan, at a cost of more than $100,000 a person annually.”
2. FedEx: The overnight shipping giant is a long-time defense-contracting powerhouse that has also seen an exponential increase in contract dollars since September 10, 2001, when its stock was trading at just under $40 per share. By the end of that year, FedEx had been awarded about $211 million in contracts from the Pentagon. In 2010, the company received $1.4 billion from the Department of Defense and this year, with its stock closing in on $80 per share, has already passed the $1 billion mark, again. This includes a $182 million deal, inked in August, to pack and ship fresh fruit and vegetables to U.S. military bases overseas and a joint agreement, which also includes United Parcel Service (UPS) and Polar Air Cargo, which could last up to five years and potentially net the companies a combined $853 million.
3. Dell: If you’re in the military and you want to pilot a drone, transfer supplies or write a memo, you need a computer. That’s just what Dell provides. The desktop- and laptop-maker has been plying the Pentagon with computers for many years and, just like Lockheed, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, has done especially well by the Department of Defense since 2001. That year, Dell was awarded $65 million in Pentagon contracts. By 2009, that number had jumped to $731 million and, over the course of the decade, has added up to a total of $4.3 billion in contracts for the PC manufacturer.
4. Kraft – From A-1 steak sauce, their signature mayonnaise and Oreo cookies to Oscar Meyer hot dogs, Planters peanuts and Wheat Thins crackers, this company ranks as one of the largest and best known food concerns in the world. Not surprisingly, it also does a brisk business with the Pentagon which has grown ever larger during the last decade. Back in 2001, Kraft inked $148 million in deals with the Department of Defense, by 2010, its yearly take had risen to $373 million.
5. Pepsi – Once upon a time it was the “choice of a new generation.” These days, it’s the choice of the Pentagon. In 2010, PepsiCo washed down $217 million in Defense Department contract dollars, compared to the mere $61 million in deals it inked back in 2001. Earlier this year, the company continued the trend by signing a multi-million dollar deal to provide the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps with “bag-in-box beverages.” (That very same day, Coca-Cola also received a slightly larger contract to provide drinks for the military. And, not to be left out, Coke won no less than $22 million in contracts from the Pentagon last year.)