Weapons manufacture not necessarily a job creator

America’s War Games How the Obama administration is redefining the US military’s strategic priorities with far-reaching consequences, Aljazeera, 27 April 13  “……. William Hartung, from the Center for International Policy says that Pentagon contractors have “for years used the jobs argument to revive weapons systems that have been cancelled. To push for things that even the Pentagon itself has not wanted.” For months, a study has been circulating in Washington, underwritten by the Aerospace Industries Association, a major defence industry trade group. It claims that a million jobs would be lost as a result of sequestration cuts to defence spending.

Hartung, who has analysed the study, says it exaggerates the potential job loss number by a factor of three, and that many of those jobs will be replaced. He points out that spending on education, health care, and infrastructure “can create 1.5 to 2 times as many jobs. So the economy would be much better off spending on things other than the Pentagon.”

Several recent reports examining ways to cut Pentagon spending call for changes in the US nuclear weapons posture. They claim that it would produce hundreds of billions of dollars of savings in coming decades, and the Obama administration is reportedly considering nuclear weapons cuts. But they will be difficult to achieve.

“People are still mired in Cold War thinking and they feel like the more nuclear weapons we have the better,” Hartung says. “And in addition to that the nuclear weapons industry has some of the biggest strongest companies in the military industrial complex.”

Lockheed Martin builds submarines, launches ballistic missiles, and runs the nuclear weapons laboratories; General Dynamics builds nuclear subs; and Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are all hoping to build the next nuclear bomber……http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2013/04/2013424113558268754.htm

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