Theater of Cruelty

Trump's militarism 

The military industry is the big winner of this year's presidential election – both in the US and internationally. 


When the US Stock Exchange opened after the election, the country's gun manufacturers were rewarded for Trump's election victory. In spite of a general fall in the US market, arms manufacturers have excelled with significant growth as a direct result of the election results.

Pentagon's largest contractor Lockheed Martin increased its stock value by 7,6 percent when the stock exchange opened on Wednesday. During the morning hours, their shares rose another 4,8 percent. The other giants in US military production followed. Northrop Grumman started correspondingly 4,9 percent up, while General Dynamics increased 4,1 percent and Raytheon increased full 6,3 percent at stock exchange opening.

Worldwide. So the US market is taking Trump's promises of strong growth in the US defense budget seriously. The fact that Republicans after the election will control both chambers in Congress further supports the financial analysts' mounting belief that the military-industrial complex now faces very good times.

The third largest supplier of the Pentagon, BAE Systems, is based in the United Kingdom. In 2014, they had 92,8 percent of their turnover in the US market. The BAE share rose to a new record after 5,5 percent growth when the British opened their stock exchange after the election. Similarly, the share value of France's largest arms manufacturer, Thales, increased by between 3 and 4 percent as their stock exchange started on the other side of the channel the same morning.

All of the above mentioned companies are among the biggest upgrades not only in the US but also in the world as a whole. They are both on the top 10 list of contractors for the US Department of Defense, and on SIPRI's top 10 list of the largest military companies in the world. They are also among the world's largest arms exporting companies.

Atom retrofit. When Trump's militarism boosts the growth of the world's weapons industry, it is not just due to new contracts for the weapons industry. It is also due to a unified belief that the future president's policies will create more turmoil and fear around the world. Throughout the election campaign, Trump has emerged as an unpredictable player. That the people of the world's only superpower choose such a president is experienced in itself as an argument for global armament.

That the people of the world's only superpower choose such a president is experienced in itself as an argument for global armament.

Trump is also a traditional militarist, in the sense that he primarily seeks military means to deal with international conflicts. In the election campaign, he has not only advocated lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, he has also announced that he will invest 1000 billion new dollars in upgrading the country's nuclear arsenal. If we take only the promises of new investments in the US military that Trump advocated in September – 90 more soldiers, 000 new warships and more than 42 new fighter jets, in addition to more nuclear weapons and missile shields – the cost of this is estimated to as much as $ 100 billion annually. Militarism costs money, and the profits will go to the military industry.

Disturbing. Security policy is not exactly Trump's strongest side. Neither foreign nor domestic. Through a year and a half of campaigning, he has stood for a fragmented and at times contradictory foreign policy that seems to change from day to day, depending on who he speaks to, with or for. His concrete promises of rearmament should therefore not be taken as absolute either. In all this unpredictability, there are still a few things we should note. At home, he has contributed to a more divided America than ever. The newly elected president and his campaign have shown incompetence and very little interest in the international work for disarmament and detente throughout the election campaign. There is therefore no reason to believe that such topics will be high on Trump's agenda when he now has to put together his government and plan practical policies. This should concern everyone working for a more civilized and well-organized international system.

Harang is the leader of Norway's Fredslag.

Alexander Harang
Alexander Harang
Harang is the editor of "Fredsnasjonen", the magazine MODERN TIMES published in the summer of 2021.

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