Last year, defense contractors in the U.S., European Union and the United Kingdom, benefiting greatly from the ongoing Russian special military operation in Ukraine, made hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. The top five weapons contractors in America alone made $196 billion in military-related earnings, with Lockheed Martin dominating with a whopping $63 billion in revenue. (Related: Pentagon report: Huge amount of U.S. military aid to Ukraine has been stolen by criminal organizations and arms traffickers.)
According to Defense News, four U.S.-based defense corporations were among the world's top five military contractors – Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, RTX, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, and General Dynamics – thanks in no small part to America being the main source of weapons and military hardware for Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia. Washington has already committed nearly $40 billion in military aid to Kyiv.
During the first half of the year, the top 25 Western defense contractors increased their revenue by 11 percent to $212 billion. According to calculations, the total arms sales for these corporations are expected to surge to around $448 billion by the end of the year. This would be a $47 billion increase compared to last year.
Furthermore, by 2026, the revenues of these 25 defense contractors could rise by more than 20 percent to $554 billion. This growth would not only come from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine but from the rapid rearmament of Europe's armed forces.
Further estimates suggest that Western defense contractors will likely increase their revenues by more than $150 billion, or 37 percent, from 2021 to 2026. This would be nearly double the expected economic growth of developed nations during the same period. The International Monetary Fund estimates that, by 2026, the collective GDP of advanced or developed nations will be $67.8 trillion, a nearly 20 percent increase from $56.6 trillion in 2021.
"Ukraine may be resembling a bloodbath … but apparently, Western military corporations are swimming in a bonanza of profits and stock market investments," wrote the editorial team of the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF). "Most of this lucrative new business stems from NATO's proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which is heading toward its second year. There is no sign of a diplomatic effort from the West or the Kyiv regime it sponsors to end the bloodshed."
The flow of money into the hands of defense contractors is expected to continue. President Joe Biden's administration recently requested another $24 billion in taxpayer-funded aid for Ukraine, bringing the estimated Ukraine-related spending of the U.S. and NATO this year alone up to between $150 billion to $200 billion.
"What we are seeing is an audacious racket whereby the American and European public are subsidizing the funneling of their own taxpayers' money into the coffers of weapons firms," wrote the SCF. "And there is no democratic choice in the matter. It's a fair accompli. Or, put another way, extortion."
Watch this episode of "In The Trenches with Teddy Daniels," featuring Jarome Bell discussing how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is "sucking America's teets dry" with the tens of billions spent on military aid.