WHY is a peaceful, Christian, democratic country like America so ADDICTED TO WAR?
Say it. Say ONE POINT TWO TRILLION DOLLARS. Say it a few times. Roll it around in your mouth. Taxpayers shelled out 1.2 trillion since 2001 just to do one thing --to 'kill Arabs' Was it to get their OIL, or was it revenge for Sept 11th? Or was there another reason?
My teacher the screenwriter (two oscars,) also an ex OSS man in WWII, but also a lifelong CIA Research and Analysis fellow 1945 onwards... but in WWII he was a captain in the Army in OSS when he wasn't in action with a camera, he was at Fort Roach, Hal Roach Studios, a propaganda center (he'd been a Pathe news cinematographer before war.) He told his Loyola Marymount writing class that war is self perpetuating because the soldiers get so much out of keeping us at war. They get more fruit salad medals on their chest, each one giving the guy a serious pay upgrade. And the big boys, the decision makers, get the really big perks. Defense firms hire retired generals with multi million dollar salaries. If you want to see that revolving door in a fantastically amusing FILM, see Fred Ward in The Adventures of Remo Williams where he plays a CIA bozo who wakes up with a KOREAN martial arts guru, (JOEL GRAY) and sees what’s really happening.. Our own, US pentagon and defense industries are in bed together and rife with corruption and graft. Daring subject. Brilliant and funny action suspense film. But boy do those facts hit the ole nail on the head. TEACH KIDS which end is up with THIS ONE! And have your entire family read the "ADDICTED TO WAR " COMIC BOOK
http://www.addictedtowar.com/atw2a.html just keep paging thru it hitting NEXT. Or order the book for 11 $ it's for kids to understand what we're up against.
So add the SOLDIERS AND GENERALS in particular to that list at upper left. Generals especially as they get the fruit salad two ways, medals and moola. They go From the Pentagon to the private sector In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs. CORPORATIVE MOOLA.
Read this article By Bryan Bender from Boston Globe -- December 26, 2010
WASHINGTON — An hour after the official ceremony marking the end of his
35-year career in the Air Force, General Gregory “Speedy’’ Martin
returned to his quarters to swap his dress uniform for golf attire. He
was ready for his first tee time as a retired four-star general.
But almost as soon as he closed the door that day in 2005 his phone
rang. It was an executive at Northrop Grumman, asking if he was
interested in working for the manufacturer of the B-2 stealth bomber as
a paid consultant. A few weeks later, Martin received another call. This
time it was the Pentagon, asking him to join a top-secret Air Force
panel studying the future of stealth aircraft technology.
Martin was understandably in demand, having been the general in charge
of all Air Force weapons programs, including the B-2, for the previous
four years. He said yes to both offers.
In almost any other realm it would seem a clear conflict of interest —
pitting his duty to the US military against the interests of his
employer — not to mention a revolving-door sprint from uniformed
responsibilities to private paid advocacy.
But this is the Pentagon where, a Globe review has found, such apparent
conflicts are a routine fact of life at the lucrative nexus between the
defense procurement system, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars
a year, and the industry that feasts on those riches. And almost nothing
is ever done about it.
The Globe analyzed the career paths of 750 of the highest ranking
generals and admirals who retired during the last two decades and found
that, for most, moving into what many in Washington call the
“rent-a-general’’ business is all but irresistible.
From 2004 through 2008, 80 percent of retiring three- and four-star
officers went to work as consultants or defense executives, according to
the Globe analysis. That compares with less than 50 percent who followed
that path a decade earlier, from 1994 to 1998.
In some years, the move from general staff to industry is a virtual
clean sweep. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and
admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense roles — nearly
And in many cases there is nothing subtle about what the generals have
to sell — Martin’s firm is called The Four Star Group, for example. The
revolving-door culture of Capitol Hill — where former lawmakers and
staffers commonly market their insider knowledge to lobbying firms — is
now pervasive at the senior rungs of the military leadership.
Among the Globe findings:
¦ Dozens of retired generals employed by defense firms maintain Pentagon
advisory roles, giving them unparalleled levels of influence and access to
inside information on Department of Defense procurement plans.
¦ The generals are, in many cases, recruited for private sector roles well
before they retire, raising questions about their independence and
judgment while still in uniform. The Pentagon is aware and even supports this
¦ The feeder system from some commands to certain defense firms is so
powerful that successive generations of commanders have been hired by the
same firms or into the same field. For example, the last seven generals
and admirals who worked as Department of Defense gatekeepers for international
arms sales are now helping military contractors sell weapons and defense
¦ When a general-turned-businessman arrives at the Pentagon, he is often
treated with extraordinary deference — as if still in uniform — which can
greatly increase his effectiveness as a rainmaker for industry. The
military even has name for it — the “bobblehead effect.’’
“We are changing the perception and maybe the reality of what it means to
be a general,’’ said retired General Robert “Doc’’ Foglesong, who retired as
the second-ranking Air Force officer in 2006.
“The fundamental question,’’ he said, “is whether this is shaping the
acquisition system and influencing what the Pentagon buys. I think the
answer is yes.’’
A post-retirement business
Some members of Congress who served in the military said the system needs
much stricter disclosure rules. With few exceptions, all the Pentagon
requires now is for retired officers to wait one year before directly
advocating for a contract before the specific military branch they served in.
“A lot of these guys earn two to three times their retirement money,’’
said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat and West Point graduate. “If
you are deriving a significant portion of your nonpension income from defense
companies actively engaged in contracting — especially if you are also
involved in these advisory panels — that should be disclosed.
“When I was an officer in the 1970s, most general officers went off to
some sunny place and retired,’’ he added. “Now the definition of success of a
general officer is to move on and become successful in the business world.’’
Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, a retired three-star admiral,
said that when he was in uniform he saw firsthand the influence retired
admirals have when they are brought in to advise the Navy.
“Rank did mean something. The principal guy in the room really drove the
thing. There is a hesitancy to question them,’’ he said. “If there isn’t
transparency or knowledge of who they are working for when they are
advising the Pentagon, you are building a military that is not all it can be.’’
Martin and other generals interviewed by the Globe maintain that their
postretirement consulting business is ethical and beneficial for America’s
defense. They said it matches private-sector expertise with crucial
“Access sounds sleazy, but it brings a value,’’ Martin said. “I am
interested in doing things that I think the Air Force or [Department of
Defense] might benefit from.’’
Martin and Northrop Grumman declined to discuss the details of his
activities on behalf of the company. Martin said his ongoing role as
chairman of the Air Force Studies Board is mostly limited to deciding what
to study, not making specific recommendations.
“I do not substantially influence the findings of studies that could help
my clients,’’ Martin said.
Yet judging the validity of such assertions is difficult. Even fellow
participants in the two-year stealth aircraft study, for example, said
they were not told of Martin’s industry clients. Seth Bonder, a member of the
National Academy of Engineering who also participated on the panel, said,
“I never knew what Speedy was doing elsewhere. I don’t inquire what he has in
terms of industry connections.’’
Bonder said disclosure of potential conflicts would be desirable, to
prevent confidential data from reaching contractors at an early stage.
“You get privied information,’’ he said. Clear potential for conflict
There was a clear sense of urgency as top Army officials and advisers
converged on the National Defense University’s campus on the banks of the
Potomac River for a high-level meeting in June 2009.
Their goal: develop ideas for the Army’s next ground combat vehicle. The
Army badly needed to get a new tank program rolling after its previous
effort resulted in an embarrassing, $14 billion flop.
A veil of secrecy surrounded the event. The Army did not publicly disclose
the guest list for the meeting. It required participants to sign
And to block potential bidders from gaining an unfair advantage, defense
contractors were pointedly excluded.
Yet, defense contractors had a robust presence inside.
At least six retired generals invited by the Army were also consultants or
executives of defense companies that would bid on the new tank contracts,
according to a meeting roster obtained by the Globe. The roster did not
list their private-sector affiliations. Each was listed by the Army only as
Contacted by the Globe, several generals said they disclosed their
potential conflicts of interest to the Army, on ethics questionnaires, before
arriving at the meeting.
The Army refused to comment on the ethical issues raised by the generals’
presence and declined to release copies of the ethics disclosure forms,
citing privacy concerns. It confirmed, however, that no one was
disqualified from participation based on their responses.
A look at some of those attending suggests that there was ample potential
for direct conflicts.
Retired Army Lieutenant General William H. Campbell oversaw all of the
Army’s information systems before leaving the service in 2000. Since 2002, he has
been employed as a senior vice president at BAE Systems, one of the Army’s
primary weapons suppliers and a major bidder for the new ground combat
Campbell said in e-mail responses that he did not have a conflict of
interest because he works in the electronics division of BAE, not the
ground combat division, which is bidding to build the new tank. Campbell and BAE
declined to say how much, if any, of the electronics system in the new
tank might be produced by Campbell’s division at BAE.
But Campbell suggested that other generals at the meeting may have been
skating closer to the edge.
“I think there is a danger of a real or perceived conflict of interest
when an individual who is working on a defense program provides external advice
to the military on the very same program, in either an official or
unofficial capacity,’’ he said.
Campbell did not name names.
BAE had another representative in the meeting room: retired Lieutenant
General Joseph L. Yakovac, formerly the top deputy to the Army’s senior
acquisition official, who was advising BAE on the ground combat vehicle as
a private consultant.
It was Yakovac who had overseen, while in uniform, the failed, $14 billion
“future combat system’’ program. And the office he once ran was in charge
of devising the new combat vehicle. Some of the active-duty officers now
running the unit previously worked for Yakovac, including Major General
John Barley. Nevertheless, Yakovac said he was assured by Army lawyers he could
offer advice without running afoul of any ethics rules.
The new system is considered a separate contract by the military, freeing
him to take an advisory role. As a rule, Yakovac said, he does not seek to
influence former Army colleagues on matters involving his private defense
clients. And he said he provides clients with advice that is based solely
on publicly available information.
“You spend 35 years in an ethical place,’’ he said. “You don’t leave that
at the door.’’
Another retired general at the session was General John H. Tilelli, who
was the vice chief of staff of the Army before retiring in 2000. He now runs
Cypress International, which has a consulting agreement with Science
Applications International Corporation, another bidder on the ground
combat vehicle program, confirmed Melissa L. Koskovich, a corporation
Retired General William S. Wallace, who ran the Army’s Training and
Doctrine Command before retiring in 2008, said he was not representing one of the
prospective bidders at the time of the meeting. Like the other
participants, however, one of the ethics questions he was asked to answer, according to
a blank copy, was whether he intended to consult in the future for a client
that may have a direct interest in bidding on the new tank.
Wallace declined to say how he answered that question. Wallace confirmed
that he is now a consultant for General Dynamics Land Systems Division,
which is seeking to win the ground combat vehicle contract. But he
insisted he does not use his Army contacts to further the business interests of his
On this point, the public is essentially left to trust the word of Wallace
and other retired generals that they do not improperly trade on their
influence and access. That’s because they are almost never required to
divulge their clients, or say how much they get paid. The few rules that
do guide the Pentagon influence trade prohibit only a narrow range of sales
Navigating ethical issues
The one-year “cooling off’’ period prohibits a retired general or admiral
from directly making a sales pitch to their former military branch. For
two years after retirement, the Pentagon prohibits them from participating in
“particular matters,’’ meaning ongoing contracts greater than $10 million
that were under their command. New editions of older weapon systems — like
the new ground combat vehicle — are not considered “particular matters.’’
“Even if restrictions apply, ‘behind the scenes’ work is permitted, so
essentially they can assist a new employer as long as they don’t place the
call or show up at meetings,’’ said Scott Amey, the general counsel at the
Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.
The generals who navigate these ethical minefields said they are capable
of managing potential conflicts without oversight, because of their own
“You have to have a firewall in your head,’’ said industry consultant and
former Vice Admiral Justin D. McCarthy.
But a number of retired generals contacted by the Globe said they are
uncomfortable with the laxity of the system and refuse to use their
Pentagon contacts to win private clients.
Air Force Lieutenant General Kenneth E. Eickmann, who frequently dealt
with defense contractors when he was on active duty, is among them.
“I always felt uncomfortable dealing with former generals working for
those companies,’’ said Eickmann, who retired in 1998 and is now a senior fellow
at the Energy Institute at the University of Texas. “Sometimes I felt like
they were relying on a past friendship to get me to do something.’’
William “Buck’’ Kernan, a retired Army four-star general who recently left
Military Professional Resources, Inc., a company that provides training,
logistics, and other support to the military, believes trading on such
access and influence raises difficult questions.
“I didn’t like people doing it to me when I was a four-star, a three-star,
even a two-star — using a previous relationship as an entree to selling me
something,’’ he said. “The perception from the outside of a previous
superior now dealing with a previous subordinate can cause all kinds of
Navy Admiral William J. Fallon said he turned down consulting offers after
learning that defense industry clients were seeking “tactical’’
information from inside the Pentagon. Said Fallon: “I didn’t want to be a walking
Humvee lobbying pays off
The Humvee is perhaps the most visible icon of modern warfare — bulky,
tough, and ubiquitous on battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq. But this
year the Army said it would build them no more.
Instead, it proposed shifting half a billion dollars in money for new
Humvees to a program of fixing up old models, which Army officials
determined would be more cost-effective.
Whether or not it was a good move for the Army, it was a looming debacle
for the Humvee’s exclusive manufacturer.
The firm — AM General, of South Bend, Ind. — fielded a trio of former
military leaders with major Beltway clout, including retired Army General
Jack Keane, to try to reverse the plan.
A commanding presence at 6 foot 5, Keane, 66, turned in his fatigues seven
years ago for a pinstriped suit. He is now one of the most influential
retired generals in Washington, holding a seat on a high-level Pentagon
advisory panel, the Defense Policy Board, and counting among his defense
industry clients McAndrews and Forbes, the New York holding company that
owns AM General.
Keane contacted Army General Peter Chiarelli, as vice chief of staff the
Army’s second-ranking officer, to make the case that the service should
continue buying new Humvees, Keane confirmed in an interview. He said he
told Chiarelli that he believes the Army needs to maintain a “strategic
partnership’’ with AM General, whose relationship with the military dates
back to building Jeeps during World War II.
Chiarelli declined through a spokesman to be interviewed for this article.
Keane also helped AM General make its case to influential members of
Congress, according to a former defense industry official with direct
knowledge of the discussions.
Keane was involved in the effort on the Hill even though he is not a
registered lobbyist. He maintained in an interview that he was not
required to register because he does not spend more than 20 percent of his time
contacting Congress, as the lobbying disclosure laws stipulate. He said he
only helps clients reach the right decision makers in the Pentagon or on
In addition to Keane, AM General was paying the Spectrum Group, a defense
consulting firm with a roster of retired generals, about $20,000 a month
to help arrange access to key decision makers, according to a former Pentagon
official with direct knowledge of the contract. According to a former AM
General executive, the AM General account at Spectrum was overseen by
retired Army Lieutenant General John Caldwell.
Caldwell’s last job before retiring in 2004 was as the deputy to the
service’s top acquisition official. Before that he served as commander of the Army’s
Tank-Automotive Command, the Michigan-based unit that is responsible for
acquiring Humvees and all other ground vehicles in the Army. Spectrum did
not return several calls for comment.
A third retired general helping AM General was General Paul J. Kern, a
member of the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, an official military
advisory panel. Kern, who declined a request for an interview, retired in
2005 as the chief of the Army Materiel Command and was previously the
service’s top acquisition officer. Kern, who served as president of AM
General from 2009 to 2010, is also an associate at The Cohen Group, the
consulting firm that includes a number of high-profile retired generals
All that muscle appeared to pay off for AM General, which did not respond
to a request for an interview.
In July of this year, Congress denied the Army’s request to shift more
than $500 million to the refurbishment of Humvees and ordered the service to
use the money to keep buying new ones.
Tom Christie, a former senior Pentagon acquisition official, said the
Humvee debate is a prime example of how defense companies gain by deploying
retired generals. “They are very useful in opening doors.’’
A convincing proposal
As envisioned by Northrop Grumman, the Fire Scout — a nimble,
remote-controlled surveillance helicopter — would help troops pinpoint
enemies hiding beneath a jungle canopy. With hovering capability, it could
peer into places a Predator drone could not.
But before Northrop could get to work building Fire Scouts, it first
needed to convince the Army the project was a good idea. For persuasive
assistance, it turned to Burdeshaw Associates Ltd.
Burdeshaw was founded in 1979 and is one of the oldest “rent-a-general’’
consulting firms. It has a reputation for zealously guarding the identity
of its clients, and even its headquarters seems deliberately low profile,
housed above a Safeway grocery store in suburban Bethesda, Md.
To get the Fire Scout off the ground, Burdeshaw did more than just set up
meetings with key Army decision makers. It was hired by Northrop Grumman
to write a “concept of operations’’ for the aircraft, according to retired
General William Richardson, a former commander of the Training and
Doctrine Command and an adviser to Burdeshaw.
The concept of operations is an official document that is a crucial step
in defense procurement. It lays out exactly how a weapon is supposed to work
and what its mission will be, and provides the justification for pursuing
After the Army adopted the concept, it gave Northrop a 10-year deal and
paid the firm $109 million to build eight Fire Scouts. But they are still
sitting at Northrop Grumman’s Mississippi plant, unused. With little explanation,
the service decided earlier this year that it didn’t need the aircraft
The Army would not respond to questions about why it canceled the Fire
Scout. Notifying Congress early this year that it was killing the program,
it said it was focusing on other priorities.
Burdeshaw’s chief executive, retired Army General William Hartzog, who
until 1998 commanded the Army Training and Doctrine Command, did not respond to
repeated requests to discuss his company’s business.
An official at Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems Division who was not
authorized to speak publicly disputed Richardson’s characterization of
Burdeshaw’s work, saying the firm’s consultants crafted a series of
briefing papers that helped make the case for the project, not an official concept
of operations. Northrop Grumman declined to comment on the record about
Burdeshaw’s work on the Fire Scout program.
The Army Aviation Center in Alabama, which is responsible for all Army
aircraft, did not respond to several requests to comment on how the
documents provided by Burdeshaw were used.
Retired officers frequently help industry and the military branches
develop the concept or justification for weapons, according to interviews with
military and industry participants. In other cases they try to influence
weapons projects more indirectly: by passing along “white papers’’ and
other documents drafted by their clients that question the rationale for
awarding contracts to their competitors.
Wallace, the Army four-star who retired in 2008 as the commander of the
Training and Doctrine Command, said the phenomenon has grown in recent
years. He cautioned that the Army should only use such private-industry
analyses as a starting point for further work.
“I hope [the Army] wouldn’t just take it and put an Army logo on it and
say it’s ours,’’ said Wallace, who now consults for General Dynamics on the
ground combat vehicle program, among other companies. “Doesn’t sound like
a good idea to me.’’
Tapping a niche market
The Four Star Group certainly lives up to its name. The heavyweights on its consulting roster, all retired from the Air Force, served as chief of staff; deputy chief of staff; chief of the Space Command; head of the Materiel Command (Martin); and commander of the Air National Guard. The newest adviser for the group is former Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters.
What sets these retired generals apart in the military consulting world —
aside from the blatant way their brand touts their old command authority —
is their market niche. They are using their influence and knowledge of the
Pentagon to build a business in equity investing.
The partners in the Four Star Group have an exclusive arrangement with a
$3 billion private equity firm in Los Angeles, the Gores Group, which awards
them an equity stake in companies that Gores acquires based on their
advice. What Gores gets in return is knowledge about which companies are drawing
attention from key Washington decision makers, or are developing
technologies that will be in demand by the Pentagon.
Through their relationship with Gores, the generals own shares, or could
own shares in the future, in firms that make communications devices for
soldiers, blast-resistant glass for embassies and military installations,
and radar equipment.
The Globe identified several other equity firms with defense expertise
that also are deploying retired generals as part of an investment strategy.
Critics say this emerging line of retirement business for generals raises
thorny questions about their access to privileged Department of Defense
“The big question is should they be using their contacts in the military
to benefit their new investment?’’ said Charles Elson, director of the
Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. “At what
point does your fidelity to the military dissipate or go away? Do the
contacts they have in the military benefit their new operations?’’
But Bill Patton, a former corporate executive who helped set up The Four
Star Group and is its chairman and chief executive, said the firm’s
principal owners scrupulously avoid trading on privileged information.
“I think this is how a company of ethical retired generals should operate,’’
he said. The generals’ role, he said, is limited to acting as “assisters,
advisers, and introducers.’’
The demand for the generals who can guide investment decisions is expected
to grow in the future, say observers of the trend.
Retired Army General Wesley K. Clark, who now works as a lobbyist and
investment banker for companies seeking alternative energy contracts,
believes the growing hunger among private equity firms and Wall Street
investors to enlist retired generals is a consequence of a broader
phenomenon: the increasing importance of the military to America’s
“It is the militarization of the economy,’’ Clark said in a recent
Note: what we didn't read was HOW MANY GENERALS are on BILDERBERGERS BOARD, the planet's decision making insider group!
Bryan Bender can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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