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The Business Of War

Updated on April 11, 2017

U.S. Soldiers In Iraq

Sabre Rattling

As we listen to and watch the news it seems we are constantly being told about one world power or another posturing as if they were preparing to go to war. On a daily basis we are made aware of some country either issuing a threat or acting in some way that gives the impression that they are on the brink of committing an act of war. In the Middle East several nations including Iran, Libya and now Syria have acted aggressively prompting the United States and other world nations to take action to possibly ward off an attack. Why does the threat of war seem to be always on the horizon? Why do nations appear to be so anxious to engage in military conflict?

It's simple.

War is big business.

Saddam Hussein

The Profits Of War

When the U.S. invaded Iraq the American public was told that the war would be paid for by the oil revenues within the country. In essence it was declared that the war would pay for itself. As it turned out that was not the case. During the war campaign many oil wells were destroyed which interrupted production. Back here in America the effect was increased gasoline prices due to the reduced crude oil supplies which put additional strain on an already struggling economy that was in part due to fighting two wars simultaneously in the region. The ultimate result was that the cost of the war was placed on the American taxpayer. This meant that some method of recuperating that money had to be devised and that is exactly what was done.

Dow Jones Industrials from 1929 through 1944

A History Of War Business

Warfare has always been profitable and business transactions have always continued during times of war. In fact many business ventures increase in wars like military-related manufacturing.

In World War II many manufacturing plants were converted from domestic production to military production. Manufacturers like Jeep were selected to produce military equipment to supply the troops. Other plants were turned into munitions manufacturers.

For the most part during war its business as usual. Stocks continue to be bought and sold. Commerce continues and trading is conducted. Nothing stops. In fact.some things increase or are created as in the war bonds associated with World War II.

It is no secret that there is money to be made in times of war. This is especially true for those industries that are directly related to supplying the military. What has to be kept in mind is that the military exists for the express purpose of fighting wars. That was not the reason for it being created but it is the duty of the military to defend the country and its interests around the world. And in doing so it is very likely that could mean engaging in warfare. Naturally its purpose is not to seek war but if a conflict develops it is the armed services' job to fight in it.

It is understood that if the military does not have a war to fight it essentially has no purpose exept to train in preparation for war. But what good is it in training for something if it never occurs?

President George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden

Beating The Drums For War

With no war to fight the armed services in essence becomes a dead entity with no purpose. So in that regard it is advantageous for anyone who benefits from war to find reason to wage war. Many people refuse to believe that the government of the United States would intentionally go looking for a war to fight but in reality that is exactly what is done because there is big money to be made from it.

When war is waged it directly affects the economy of every country involved and for those who can "afford" it the profits from war make it worth the effort. Take the Iraq War. After the main conflict was over, rebuilding the country became the primary concern of Iraq. In order to rebuild Iraq a lot of materials, labor and capital was going to be needed. Those who supplied these needs stood to make a significant deal of money. Almost immediately following the end of the invasion phase contractors and suppliers began to make bids for rebuilding contracts. Security firms made bids to provide protection for workers and newly elected government officials. Law enforcement veterans made bids to train local police. And on and on. Contracts for just about anything under the sun was available and the line of companies and individuals who wanted them was endless.

The same held true for World War II. The rebuilding of Europe provided jobs, income and wealth to many who participated in its reconstruction.

In many cases war creates revenue streams. Services that otherwise would not be needed in times of peace become necessary in times of war and the profits from those ventures can prove very lucrative. And it is for that purpose that beating the drums for war makes a lot of sense to those who would benefit most.

Vietnam War Footage


No one should want war. War is a bloody, inhumane, traumatic and devastating experience. The physical, mental and emotional affects of war can last a lifetime and beyond to following generations. At all costs warfare should be avoided but unfortunately it is not. The reason being: War Makes Money.

You Be The Judge

Does America fight wars for the business benefits?

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