Divest from the War Machine
To learn more about the U.S. War Machine and alternatives to the war economy, refer to the following resources:
Primary Research Resources:
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute- Leading resource on global arms trade research. Each year SIPRI produces a “Top 100 Arms Producing Companies and Military Contractors” List that tracks the annual profits of global arms corporations (and of course, US corporations always top the list). They also have an extensive database that logs global arms transfers.
Costs of War Project from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University- The Costs of War Project is a team of 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners, and physicians that use research and a public website to facilitate debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the related violence in Pakistan and Syria. Read here a report by William Hartung and Catherine Lutz on the financial, human, and environmental costs of war: “The Military Budget and the Cost of War”
National Priorities Project- Leading research organization that examines how much of our taxes go to wars and militarism. Take a look at its Protecting Our Communities: A State's Guide to Demilitarizing for a Brighter Future project to see what a demilitarized budget could look like and pull some good stats in support of reeling in the war machine.
Airwars.org- This is a website that monitors and assesses civilian casualties from international airstrikes in Syria, Iraq, and Libya and enables us to understand and witness daily the human costs of the U.S. War Machine.
Don’t Bank on the Bomb: Don't Bank on the Bomb is a project from PAX supporting the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) in efforts to stigmatize and outlaw nuclear weapons. Here, find a report with information on major weapons producers and their investors.
Books/ Articles/ Reports that are helpful or relevant to the campaign
The Merchants of Death Survive and Prosper: Outlines the dominant role played by U.S. corporations in the international arms trade.
Trump Is Turning the State Department into a Global Weapons Dealer: Article by CODEPINK’s Jodie Evans and Haley Pedersen on the Trump administration’s plan to turn State Department officials into sale-people for weapons corporations.
The Job Opportunity Cost of War: A report published by Brown University's Watson Institute that finds federal spending on domestic programs in health care, education, clean energy and infrastructure creates more jobs, dollar for dollar, than military spending.
William Hartung, leading military analyst and director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy has written an extensive body of material over the years on U.S. wars and militarism and the role of weapons companies in fueling war. He also spoke at our Divestment Summit in October 2017, and you can view his speech here. Some of William Hartung’s Articles:
- War Pay: Another Good Year for Weapons Makers Is Guaranteed
- Corporate Patriots or War Profiteers?
- The American Way of War
- Your Money at War Everywhere
- How to Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington
War Comes Home: The 2014 report by the American Civil Liberties Union on the militarization of America’s police forces under such programs as the Pentagon’s 1033 program.
Lockheed Martin: A global giant in supporting of Israeli war crimes: An article written by two CODEPINK team members about Lockheed Martin’s role in supplying much of the weapons and equipment used to sustain the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The Shadow World: A book by Andrew Feinstein, and a strong part of the formation of this campaign. The book provides an in-depth analysis of corruption, greed, and collusion inherent in global arms trade. The book also gives a comprehensive history of the global arms trade. Author Andrew Feinstein’s spoke in support of the Divest from the War Machine Summit, and you can view his speech here.
Project Indefensible: This is a book that unpacks and opposes the leading “myths” that sustain the global arms trade. This entire book is available free online.
The Empire’s Hustle: Why Anti-Trumpism Doesn’t Include Anti-War: An article written by Ajamu Baraka, Green Party vice-presidential campaign and Black Alliance for Peace founder (BAP is part of the Divest from the War Machine coalition) analyzes why progressive critique of the Trump administration lacks an anti-war perspective. You can also watch Ajamu Baraka’s speech from the Divest from the War Machine Summit here.
A Country Addicted to War: An article by historian Andrew Bacevich on America’s endless wars and the lack of a mainstream movement to oppose it.
A Global Security System, an Alternative to War” from World Beyond War is a report that provides a strong outline of the call for a demilitarized US from World Beyond War. This is a resource that can help shape the “What do we want instead?” narrative.
Major Danny Sjursen is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. Some of Danny Sjursen’s relevant articles:
- Three Administrations, One Standard Playbook
- Putting the "War" in the "War on Terror"
- War Making in the Age of the Imperial Presidency
- Embracing Our Inner Empire
- Whose Side Are You On?
- Fighting the War You Know (Even If It Won't Work)
Shadow World: This is a documentary based on the book of the same name written by Andrew Feinstein. The film explores corruption, collusion, and greed in the global arms trade.
What is BlackRock?
BlackRock is the top investor in weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. The weapons from these companies are used in military strikes around the world, resulting in the deaths of innocents civilians and the destruction of the environment. These companies lie at the brutal heart of the military-industrial complex. In supporting them, BlackRock and its shareholders are making huge profits off of global suffering. We cannot allow BlackRock to continue to go unchallenged about its war profiteering. Together, we can hold them accountable. Learn more about BlackRock. as well as its connection with General Dynamics and migrant detention.
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Organize a rally or vigil outside a BlackRock location! Some action uniqueness will simply be their locations — if there isn’t a BlackRock location near you, then there might be a place to hold your event that is particularly important to your community, or symbolic of the weapons industry and Lockheed Martin? Examples include City Hall, Federal Building, community center, university, or local worship space. Let us know if you decide to organize or join an action/event so that we can support you!!
About the Divest Campaign
"It is an absurd contradiction to speak of peace, to negotiate peace, and at the same time promote or permit the global arms trade. Is this war or that war really a war to solve problems? Or is it a commercial war for selling weapons in illegal trade and so that the merchants of death can get rich?” — Pope Francis
CODEPINK and our partners, are taking on the war machine by working to divest our society from weapons manufacturers. Divesting from the war machine means that we will not invest our money in companies that make a profit off of military interventions and expansions. In other words, we’re going to stop those who are making a killing in killing!
Through the Divest from War campaign we will:
- Empower individuals, institutions, and communities to change their investments and support peace and sustainability; instead of war, death, and destruction
- Highlight how the war machine is in our streets and in our communities, and is impacting all of us.
- Expose how the war machine is taking precious resources away from the programs and industries that support us, from education to housing to the environment.
- Amplify the cost of war at home, and abroad.
Prioritizing military spending over human need, has resulted in a system that prioritizes expanding war and the resulting death and destruction that accompany it. Instead of investing in diplomacy and life, the U.S. is constantly preparing for war and draining resources away from those programs that invest in human life.
Divesting from war is a call to radically reevaluate our priorities. Standing up to those who are holding hostage our ability to invest in education, sustainable development, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and facing the intrinsic inequalities in our society. We can rebuild our nation without a war economy and dilute the power of those who are only invested in war.
We kicked off our campaign by hosting a summit Washington DC. Watch the Divest from the War Machine Summit video here!
General Dynamics: Divest from War and Prisons
General Dynamics is an American based company and the sixth largest weapons manufacturer in the world. In 2017 alone, the company earned $19.6 billion in arms sales, which is 63% of General Dynamics' total revenues of $31 billion. The weapons made by General Dynamics are sold to governments around the world: including Israel, the United States, Egypt, Canada, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia’s absolute monarchy.General Dynamics has a long-lasting contract with Saudi Arabia estimated at $1.3 billion dollars-providing weapons to a country which is waging a war on Yemen that has already killed an estimated six thousand innocent civilians. In 2017, the defense company also contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense for $13.7 billion in projects.
General Dynamics plays a major role in the war on Yemen by selling its weapons to Saudi Arabia without regard to how they will be used. The weapons made by General Dynamics are partly responsible for the innocent lives lost in Yemen. The company’s arms sales only contribute to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in the region, which creates strong resentment towards our country and contributes to the rise of violent extremism worldwide. The war in Yemen is led by Saudi Arabia, which is a major purchaser of General Dynamic weapons, including the deadly chemical white phosphorus.
General Dynamics has been implicated in war crimes and the loss of countless innocent lives around the world. General Dynamics has been implicated in the August 2018 attack on a Yemeni school bus where forty-four innocent children who were returning from a field trip were killed and seventy-seven were wounded. The New York Times reports that one of its reporters was shown the remnants of a General Dynamics guided metal fin at the site of the bombing-a metal fin that is normally attached to a 500-pound bomb. The reports on the remnants were that it was found near the school bus bomb site with a unique manufacturer code identifying it as a General Dynamics product. Human Rights Watch states the attack on a Yemeni school bus was an apparent war crime.
General Dynamics is a prime example of a company profiting from those who are suffering. The military contractor has taken a government contract to provide “social services” to migrant children held at U.S. detention camps. It contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide support and training at the for-profit prison companies operated by CoreCivic and GEO Group. HHS is a part of the network of agencies that handle immigration and refugee cases in the United States. For example, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is a part of Health and Human Services and ORR is responsible for coordinating services for refugees. General Dynamics provides information technology systems and support for managing refugee case files- specifically information technology (IT), caseworker support, file review and redaction, and data entry. These services are used to track and manage case files when children and families are in the immigration system. General Dynamics holds several government contracts for information technology and support services for many government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security.
- Connecticut Post, Defense contractor tied to border family separation
- Quartz Media, U.S. Defense contractors profit from child detention --- and you might, too
- Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health & Human Services https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr
- The Daily Beast, Defense Contractors Cashing In on Immigrant Kids’ Detention
- Vox, The multibillion-dollar business of sheltering immigrant children, explained
- General Dynamics, https://gdit.com/contract-vehicles/agency-contracts/#content
- Yemen: Coalition Bus Bombing Apparent War Crime, Human Rights Watch
War Is Not Green
About the Campaign
Addressing the climate crisis is one of the most important challenges of our time. The U.S. military is the world’s largest consumer of oil and causes more greenhouse gas pollution than 140 nations combined. Yet 64% of our discretionary spending is siphoned off to the Pentagon every year and the private weapons companies that the Pentagon contracts with continue to place their short term profit above the future of our planet. Funding endless war is an existential threat to human life and one of the leading causes of climate change.
When our public institutions invest public money in weapons corporations like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, they are underpinning the war machine that draws public dollars away from projects that benefit our communities and puts them instead into an already bloated defense budget. Moreover, those same weapons are a major factor in conflicts that lead to migration by asylum seekers.
A movement to divest from the war machine will remove the social licenses that allow weapons corporations to literally make a killing on killing, and the Pentagon budget to increase annually even when our military budget far-outpaces the military budgets of all other nations.
The opportunities for divestment from the war machine abound. Cities, public pension funds, and university endowments invest public dollars in private corporations that often include weapons corporations, and elected public servants often accept campaign contributions from weapons makers. Together we can demand that they divest, that it is morally unacceptable to build our communities on top of global conflicts, and at the same time we must demand that we instead invest our public resources in projects that positively impact our communities, starting first with a rapid response to the climate crisis that is exacerbated by endless wars.
If we’re going to avert a climate disaster, we have to hold companies like BlackRock, which invests billions of dollars in weapons manufacturers and millions in companies fueling the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, accountable. And if we want to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, we have to demand that our universities divest their endowments from weapons manufacturers, that our cities divest public dollars from weapons corporations, and that our elected officials refuse campaign contributions from weapons makers.
Take action locally to divest from the war machine! Addressing climate change and U.S militarism starts with people organizing for change in their local communities.
Addressing climate change and U.S militarism starts with people organizing for change in their local communities.
- Maine Natural Guard Resources on Climate Change
- We Can’t Confront Climate Change While Lavishly Funding the Pentagon
- Why are we being herded into buying part of the world's biggest polluter? (Pension funds will be stuffed with Saudi Aramco shares after the oil giant’s floatation this weekend)
- Oil fuels war and terrorists like Isis. The climate movement can bring peace
- WAR ON THE WORLD: Industrialized Militaries Are a Bigger Part of the Climate Emergency Than You Know
- 10 Ways that the Climate Crisis and Militarism are Intertwined
- Major Media Bury Groundbreaking Studies of Pentagon’s Massive Carbon Bootprint
- Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War
- US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries--shrinking this war machine is a must
- Why Green New Deal Advocates Must Address Militarism
- Study Links Climate Change and War Refugees
- If American can find $761bn for the military, it can fund the Green New Deal
- A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism
- To Save the Planet, Cut the Pentagon
- Limited nuclear war could wreck Earth’s climate
- We Need to Interrupt Climate Catastrophe—by Divesting From the War Machine
- CODEPINK Activists Participate in the Global Climate Strike
To: CalPERS Executive Officers and Board MembersWe, the undersigned CalPERS members, demand that our pension fund begin engaging with General Dynamics on its billion-dollar arms sales and its...Sign now!
Dear Jeffrey D. Armstrong, I implore you to drop the formal warnings received by students who sang in front of the Raytheon table at their fall career fair....Sign now!