Divest from the War Machine

Learn More

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 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:


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.

BlackRock Campaign


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.

Take action!

Sign the letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink


Sign our letter to the IRC

Help us spread the word


Post on Facebook

Sample Message You Can Share:
BlackRock is making a killing on killing by investing billions in Lockheed Martin to profit from weapons of war. Your CEO says that you want socially responsible corporate citizens, but you profit off of death and destruction! Making war is a dirty business that pollutes our air and water and poisons communities around the world.


Share an image on social media

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Take a picture with your message to post on social media

Create a banner with a message BlackRock: Divest from War. Gather as many friends as you can and take a picture with the banner. Post it on our Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtags #divestfromwar #codepink @BlackRock Share it with us!

Take the Pledge to stop those making a killing on killing and stealing our future

Sign up to join our Divest from the War Machine campaign. To learn more about the U.S. War Machine and alternatives to the war economy, refer to the following resources.

Join or organize an action

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!!

Say NO to Campaign Contributions from Military Contractors & NRA


FAQ: BlackRock, General Dynamics, and Migrant Detention


BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world. Controlling more than $5 trillion in assets, BlackRock has been described as the world’s largest shadow bank. BlackRock maintains significant stakes in weapons companies such as General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon. 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. In the past, General Dynamics has provided weapons to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq, and Turkey, and directly benefited from the U.S. invasion on Iraq.

How does General Dynamics support child detention?

IT, caseworker support, file review and redaction, data entry.  Services that provide for tracking and managing of files, when children and families are in the immigration system.

Why are you targeting BlackRock instead of General Dynamics?

BlackRock owns more than 16 million shares of General Dynamics stock. BlackRock is directly profiting from General Dynamics’ actions as a part of border militarization. Putting pressure on shareholders is how we can start to shift the conversation around how we treat immigrants and others who are disproportionately impacted by our war policies.

Is General Dynamics profiting from other parts of border militarization?

Yes, General Dynamics holds several government contracts for information technology and support services for many government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security.

Are there any other military contractors who are profiting from child detention?

Yes, MVM. MVM is a private security firm that provides services to several government agencies, however, they are not publicly traded. We have an opportunity to put pressure on BlackRock and other shareholders for their role in profiting from General Dynamics’ role in family separation, child detention, and other unjust practices that are targeted at immigrants and refugees.

What agency is contracting out with General Dynamics?

Specifically regarding the role that General Dynamics plays in profiting from child detention facilities its contract is with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  HHS is a part of the network of agencies that handle immigration and refugee cases in the U.S., for example, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is a part of Health and Human Services. ORR Is responsible for coordinating services for refugees. General Dynamics provides information technology systems and support for managing refugee case files.


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!

Vermont: Ask your legislators to support SR 5 & HR 7


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