New 'Peace' Lobby Pressures US Presidential Candidates to Favor War

Military contractors behind a new "Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security" pressure group

Wed, May 27, 2015
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Here comes the peace

There is a long history of the U.S. military-industrial complex lobbying the government for funding and influencing foreign policy, e.g., to help pick out countries to bomb or invade.

However, the latest pressure group to be formed in the run up to next year’s U.S. presidential elections is an insult to basic intelligence. It calls itself Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security but literally hides its sinister motives in broad daylight. The name sounds so innocent, so appealing and credible. After all, don't we all want peace, prosperity, and security!?

Except this group wants everything but that. For them a $600 billion military budget is not nearly enough. As is often the case, you just need to look at the names of board members to see right through the organization’s name.

According to the Intercept:

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers has formed a new pressure group, now active in Iowa and New Hampshire, to serve as the “premiere national security and foreign policy organization during the 2016 debate” and to “help elect a president who supports American engagement and a strong foreign policy.”

Roger’s group, Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security, is hosting candidate events and intends to host a candidate forum later this year. The organization does not disclose its donors. But a look at the business executives helping APPS steer presidential candidates towards more hawkish positions reveals that many are defense contractors who stand to gain financially from continued militarism:

  • Advisory Board Member John Coburn is chairman and CEO of VT Systems, a company that delivers communications technology for the Defense Department.
  • Advisory Board Member Stephen Hadley is a principal at the consulting firm RiceHadleyGates and serves as a board member to defense contractor Raytheon, a position that pays him $228,007 in annual compensation.
  • New Hampshire Board Member Rich Ashooh lists his employment as Director, Strategy at BAE Systems.
  • New Hampshire Board Member James Bell is the chief executive of EPE Corporation, a manufacturing company that says it is a “premier supplier to the defense community.”
  • Advisory Board Member John Engler is the president of the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group for major corporations, including defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies and Northrop Grumman.
  • New Hampshire Board Member Ken Solinksy is founder of Insight Technologies, a night vision and electro-optical systems firm acquired by L-3 Communications.
  • New Hampshire Chairman and Advisory Board Member Walt Havenstein is the former chief executive of BAE Systems and SAIC, two of the largest defense contractors in America. Havenstein, who left SAIC in 2012, was paid partially in company stock options.

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