Monday, January 22, 2007


Normally DD hasn't dealt much with arms manufacturers but it couldn't help but notice a news item concerning Lockheed Martin and the good business opportunities affforded by unquestioning fear of bioterrorism.

From a newswire, DD reads: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded a $135 million contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to continue providing logistical and operational support to the agency's Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.

"The office manages the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement, which provides guidance and funding to state and local governments for preparedness and response, oversees the CDC Emergency Operations Center, regulates entities that use or transfer biological agents or toxins and manages the Strategic National Stockpile." (Original here.)

With GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow T-shirt on, DD is sure of one thing. Lockheed Martin ought not to be allowed anywhere near anything to do with bioterrorism. And this includes office services as well as regulating transfer of biological agents and toxins.

If the US government is to pony up money, it would be much better to staff such an operation itself without allowing Lockheed Martin, a gigantic arms manufacturer, to get its fingers in the pie.

Lockheed Martin is far better at making weapons and technology for reaching out and crushing people worldwide, 24/7.

Easily observable by news feed, the fun business of Lockheed Martin can be observed.

Daily, it happily sells arms to mortal enemies around the world, engendering weapons technology races. It is always conducting job fairs and hiring people to program devices and software to accelerate the killing of foes.

And it gets plenty of good press for it. Business journalists love to write of the successes of Lockheed Martin.

Some recent examples:

"Lockheed Martin unit wins accolades for work on portable missile system," says the Orlando Sentinel.

"Lockheed Martin's Orlando missiles unit has landed a share of a Defense Department honor for its work supporting a key weapon system being used by U.S. forces in Iraq.

A team led by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Orlando and Raytheon Co. recently received the Defense Logistics Contractor of the Year Award for critical maintenance, trouble-shooting and other support work on the Javelin portable missile system ... The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency presented the honor to the Javelin Joint Venture Logistics Support Team during the 3rd Annual Defense Logistics awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. last month."


And AP reports gaily, "Lockheed Martin Gets $28.6M Navy Deal."

"Manassas, Va.-based Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors will supply the Navy with seven sonar system upgrades to allow submarines to detect each other."

"Shares of Lockheed Martin gained 47 cents to finish at $97.27 on the New York Stock Exchange."

Bullish stock!

How 'bout the arming of decades-old sworn enemies, preferably ones with atomic weapons? You sell to one, then the other. Fuel an arms race among the poorest nations in the world, ones with sort of wretched living conditions, a lot of destitute (and angry or restive) people and lousy governments. It's a ladder to success.

"Pakistan’s Navy received the first of eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft during a formal ceremony Jan. 18 at the Mehran Naval Air Station in Karachi," writes AP. "A second aircraft is expected in February, but fulfillment of the contract is not expected until 2010."

"The Navy named Lockheed Martin the sole-source contractor in June 2005 for a $300 million Foreign Military Sales contract."

"The new P-3s will replace five Fokker F27-200 and three Breguet Atlantique maritime patrol aircraft. Pakistan had four Atlantiques, but India shot down one of the aircraft in 1999.

This is profoundly great on many fronts. First, it beats out the French and their crummy Atlantiques. And it snubs its nose at American citizens who have relied upon P-3s, whether they know it or not, to contribute maritime patrolling against drug smuggling.

As the Los Angeles Times reported today in "Burdened US Military Cuts Role in Drug War." " . . . the Pentagon has grounded much of its fleet of P-3s for long stretches because of lack of pilots, money for flying time or maintenance issues . . . [Others] have been redeployed for . . . use in counter-terrorism missions. Those remaining ... have severe wing corrosion. Many of them have no working radar. But their replacements won't be ready until 2012."

Best of all, though, is that it keeps Pakistan and India buying stuff.

"India is close to concluding a contract with the US for acquiring six C-130J Super Hercules Transport Planes, the first deal between the two countries for military aircraft, defence sources said," reported a newswire from India.

"The deal, once approved by the US Congress and New Delhi, will be a one-off contract between the governments of the two countries under Washington's foreign military sales programme. There will also be an option for six additional Hercules Aircraft manufactured by aviation major Lockheed Martin, the sources said.

"Lockheed Martin is also in the race to sell India 126 multi-role combat jets and has offered the P-3C Orion Reconnaisance Aircraft to the Indian Navy."

Sell the same equipment to both sides so that they always need more! Our enemy has three of those things. We'd better get six, so there's no weapons gap.

However, the best entry today in the category of Reach Out and Crush Someone Anytime comes from "Lockheed Martin nets $654.9M deal for Trident II D5 missile" from Reliable [Manufacturing] Plant magazine.

"The U.S. Navy is awarding Lockheed Martin a contract valued at $654.9 million for fiscal year 2007 production and deployed system support for the Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) program.

" 'Our work in the coming years will span research and development, design, production, testing, operations and maintenance on this important Navy program,' said Tory Bruno, vice president of Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company."

Unsurprisingly, Lockheed Martin is hiring all over. If you live in the Syracuse area, go here to a job fair.

Occasionally, there are glitches in the business of reaching out to crush people.

"On Friday, the Navy halted the Bethesda, Md.-based contractor's work on a $197.6 million littoral combat ship under construction at the Bollinger Shipyard in Lockport, La," reported AP. "The Navy cited 'significant cost increases.' "

A rocket scientist for a company that does business analysis said, "[The Navy wants to 'signify its displeasure with the substantial cost overrun on the program.' "

To paraphrase Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove, it's not really fair to condemn an entire program for one or two slip-ups.

In The Weapon Shops of Isher, sci-fi author A. E. van Vogt emphasized, "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free."

In The Voyage of the Space Beagle, a collection of short stories, van Vogt also wrote about space-faring soldiers who met an assortment of aliens and killed them. The aliens always ate or parasitized a couple of our guys first, though.

Although he's dead, DD still really likes reading van Vogt. Like many famous sci-fi writers, the guy is a laugh riot, perhaps for the wrong reasons.


Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

Good Post. I enjoyed your commentary.
On related matters, USA Today has recently reported in its Washington Section that the CIA plans to utilize more open sources and blogs in its intelligence work and outsource more of its intelligence software development to commercial contractors in an attempt to re-establish itself as the premiere world intelligence agency.

The "Strategic Intent" is posted on the CIA public web site. Defense Industry Daily further reports that General Electric is gobbling up Smith's Industries for $4.8B.

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. Let's look at this for a moment and do our patriotic duty by reading along with the CIA (after all, they have announced they are reading this blog)

1. The new CIA approach comes exactly at the formation of the agency’s new "External Advisory Board", which consists of the following:

* A former Pentagon Chairman of the Joints Chief who is now a Northrop Grumman Corporation Board Member

* A deposed Chairman of the Board of Hewlett Packard Corporation (HP)

* A Former Deputy Secretary of Defense who now heads up a Washington think tank with Henry Kissinger

2. Northrop Grumman Corporation and Hewlett Packard are two huge government contractors in the Pentagon and CIA custom software development arena. Their combined contracts with the government just for IT are in the multiples of millions. I wonder what the advisory board is filling the CIA's ear with?

3. Washington "Think Tanks" are fronts for big time lobbies, sophisticated in their operations, claiming non-partisanship, but tremendously influential on K Street. If a lobby cannot buy its way in, why not sit on the advisory board?

4. GE already has the military aircraft jet engine market. In buying Smith's, it takes one more major defense corporation out of the opposition and further reduces the government's leverage through competition. GE now joins the other monoliths such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon with tremendous leverage in the $500B +++ per year defense market.

5. Note the synergy that now exists between the Pentagon and the CIA. Note the influence by the major corporations.

6. Also note the balance in your bank account and your aspirations for the generations of the future. Both are going down.

7. The huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) continues to march. Taxes and national debt will be forced to march straight up the wall to support it. Do you have any "Intelligence” to offer the Pentagon, the CIA and the MIC? For further inspiration please see:

4:51 PM  

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