NATO's New Arms Bazaar: U.S. Military Contractors and Diplomats Are Hawking Their Wares Together

By Mesler, Bill | The Nation, July 21, 1997 | Go to article overview

NATO's New Arms Bazaar: U.S. Military Contractors and Diplomats Are Hawking Their Wares Together


Mesler, Bill, The Nation


U.S. MILITARY CONTRACTORS AND DIPLOMATS ARE HAWKING THEIR WARES TOGETHER.

It wasn't a typical scene at Nyugati Rail Station in downtown Budapest. On one side stood a crowd of police, camera crews, sharply dressed business executives and various Hungarian officials, all jockeying for position in front of an unusually well-kept bullet train. On the other side stood anti-NATO protesters from the left-wing Hungarian Workers Party and the environmental group Alba Kor ("White Circle"). Among them walked a young woman wearing a plastic crown, a black, full-length cocktail dress and a sash that read "Miss No-NATO."

V.I.P.s and protesters alike had all come for the "NATO Express," a two-hour luxury train ride to the formerly Soviet air base at Kecskemet, where a three-day military aviation show had been arranged and paid for by various American and European military contractors hoping to cash in on NATO expansion. Waiting there to wine and dine them were scores of lobbyists from the world's biggest arms companies--Swedish, British and French, but mostly American. Among them were the U.S. ambassador to Hungary and at least fifty U.S. military officers, many wearing name tags identifying them as representatives of Lockheed-Martin or McDonnell Douglas. "We are not here to market defense equipment," said the Pentagon's defense attache to Hungary, Col. Arpad Szurgyi. "We know the rules, our leadership knows the rules and American corporations know the rules." Minutes later he was contradicted by McDonnell Douglas Aerospace president Michael Sears. Pointing at the US. military presence, Sears told The Nation: "Their job is to push American products."

When the leaders of the sixteen current NATO members meet in Madrid on July 8, they will almost certainly invite Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to join the five-decade-old security arrangement. The world's largest arms manufacturers are salivating at the prospect.

For them, the issue is not so much NATO enlargement but the re-arming of Central and Eastern Europe. Since talk of expanding NATO began four years ago, the Western arms industry has tried to shape the new NATO into a mandate for large increases in arms transfers to former Warsaw Pact and Soviet states.

The U.S. arms industry has been actively lobbying for NATO expansion. Its target is the US. Senate, where a two-thirds vote will be required to ratify any new members. Some senators have grumbled about the costs of expansion and the wisdom of extending a U.S. commitment to defend these countries--with nuclear weapons if necessary.

Leading the way has been military giant Lockheed-Martin. As the military industry's largest single contributor to political campaigns (spending $2.3 million in 1996), Lockheed swings a big stick in Congress. In some cases Lockheed has directly lobbied senators who are undecided on the NATO issue. But mostly the company has been helped by an ostensibly unconnected group called the U. S. Committee to Expand NATO, based in the Washington offices of the American Enterprise Institute. "It seems like we get a fax from them every day," said one Capitol Hill staffer. The committee has met with the editorial boards of major newspapers and sponsored Op-Ed articles; arranged meetings between Eastern European leaders and wavering senators; and advised the Eastern European ethnic lobbies that have been the leading domestic political forces in support of an expanded NATO. Although the committee claims it has no connection to Lockheed-Martin, it is led by one of the company's top executives (as was also recently reported by The New York Times).

They are fighting for stakes that could be enormous. The three most likely new members of NATO are already planning to spend at least $7 billion on new jet fighters--and those are just the short-term rewards. In contrast to President Clinton's ridiculously optimistic--and almost universally dismissed--estimate of the costs of new membership (he said it would cost U.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

NATO's New Arms Bazaar: U.S. Military Contractors and Diplomats Are Hawking Their Wares Together
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.