By Andrew Cockburn, published in the Jan 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine
Harper’s: Andrew Cockburn’s ‘Letter from Washington’ takes us back to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. He investigates the subsequent expansion of NATO, and the ways in which it turned out to be a boon for defense contractors, who saw the newly autonomous Baltic states as a lucrative new potential market. Cockburn sketches a merry-go-round of political pressure, influence, and profit, with the same players hopping on and off for decades—and finds it’s once again picking up speed.
… The vision of Norman R. Augustine [head of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the largest arms producer on Earth] and his peers that an enlarged NATO could be a fruitful market has become a reality. By 2014, the 12 new members [in eastern Europe, since the collapse of the Soviet Union] had purchased close to $17 billion worth of American weapons, while this past October , Romania celebrated the arrival of Eastern Europe’s first $134 million Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore missile-defense system…
At the end of October 2014, as European economies quivered, thanks in part to the sanctions-driven slowdown in trade with Russia, the United States reported a gratifying 3.5 percent jump in gross domestic product for the quarter ending September 3. This spurt was driven, so government economists reported, by a sharp uptick in military spending.
We recommend this article and apologize we cannot provide it due to Harper’s copyright. It is available to subscribers of Harper’s, or for purchase from Harper’s, here.–New Cold War.org editors