Washington Post reported Aug. 21 that “US defense contractors are riding high these days, buoyed by rising Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the high cost of homeland security in the US-declared war on terror.
The fiscal 2006 defense budget is set to climb to $441 billion, an increase of $21 billion over this year, with an additional $50 billion slated for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress looks set to approve $79 billion for weapons systems procurement and about $69 billion for military research and development.
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Honeywell and United Technologies “have all done well in the first half of this year and have a huge backlog of orders,” the paper reports. Lockheed Martin, the biggest US defense contractor, saw net profit jump 41% to $830 million in the first six months of 2005.
We have noted before the perverse irony that Lockheed actively sought to cultivate the Saddam Hussein dictatorship as a market for its deadly merchandise back before Operation Desert Storm.
See our last post on the Iraq war and escalating battle for public perception.