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US lawmakers last year secretly authorized a bailout for weapons makers for unproven inflation burden as part of the record-breaking 2023 annual defense budget, which allotted over $800 billion for defense spending.
The bailout provision, crafted behind closed doors and quietly added to the approved budget, allows for “extraordinary relief” via unchecked price hikes to Pentagon contracts in response to any alleged losses weapons makers experience “due solely to economic inflation.”
However, there are no requirements for defense contractors to prove their costs increased due to inflation alone. Earlier versions of the defense budget did not include this provision, and it was reportedly added by a handful of congressional negotiators without broader congressional input.
“The new law places no restrictions on when contractors may ask for increases in contract prices; the only requirement is that costs exceed the original agreed upon price,” Responsible Statecraft reports.
The bailout was approved despite the senate striking down a similar provision and defense contractors failing to demonstrate to the Pentagon that inflation was threatening their bottom line, as they have managed to report record profits despite the economic effects of the pandemic or the war in Ukraine.
As a result of this, US taxpayer money is now being earmarked to provide “profit insurance” to giant corporations like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.
Their profits are also bolstered by US officials covertly deploying troops and waging secret wars over the past two decades in dozens of countries across the globe.
US defense contractors have repeatedly been accused of having responsibility for countless war crimes committed in West Asia and other regions of the world.
Last week, a group of Yemeni nationals filed a lawsuit against several US weapons makers for their role in the bombing of a wedding and a funeral in Yemen.
“Year after year, the bombs fell – on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats, and a school bus – killing thousands of civilians and helping turn Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” reads the lawsuit.