Stuart J. Hooper
21st Century Wire
A new group of leaders from the military industrial complex has formed seeking to pressure potential presidential candidates into supporting a ‘strong foreign policy’.
Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security (APPS) has been established by former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. It wants to be 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”.
Watch a video version of this report below:
APPS is seeking to hold a candidate forum later this year.
The organization refuses to disclose its donors, but its list of supporters provides us with a who’s who of the military industrial complex.
Advisory Board Member John Coburn
- Chairman and CEO of VT Systems, a company delivering communications technology for the U.S. Defense Department.
Advisory Board Member Stephen Hadley
- Principal at consulting firm RiceHadleyGates and serves as a board member to defense contractor Raytheon, a position paying $228,007 annually.
New Hampshire Board Member Rich Ashooh
- Director of Strategy at BAE Systems.
New Hampshire Board Member James Bell
- Chief executive of EPE Corporation, a manufacturing company that says it is a “premier supplier to the defense community.”
Advisory Board Member John Engler
- President of the Business Roundtable, lobbying group for major corporations, including defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies and Northrop Grumman.
New Hampshire Board Member Ken Solinksy
- 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
- Former chief executive of BAE Systems and SAIC, two of the largest defense contractors in America. Havenstein left SAIC in 2012 and was paid partially in company stock options.
We can safely say it is unwise to have those with a vested interest in war seeking to advise and influence the foreign policy direction of a hegemonic power like the United States.
APPS appears to be one of many recent outgrowths of the previous Neoconservative ‘think thank’ and pressure group known as the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) which openly advocated for military adventurism worldwide and whose founders included committed war hawks John Bolton, Robert Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney to name only a few.
In a short promotional video from APPS notice when Rogers says ‘the threat matrix facing America today has never been broader’, a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin is then flashed on screen (subliminal), but not mentioned in the narration. This follows a trend of certain figures and institutions looking to start a war with Russia; something that should definitely be avoided not subconsciously hinted at.
The group’s formation reveals the far-reaching extent to which the military industrial complex will collaborate in an attempt to direct policy. While APPS is looking for a President ‘who supports American engagement’, a massive 53% of Americans now see ‘American engagement’ in Iraq as a huge mistake. Pursuing such a policy in the 2016 race would amount to political suicide.
We also need further clarification on APPS’s second goal, of finding a President with ‘a strong foreign policy’. What exactly does this mean? We can assume that the military industrial complex is not content with merely supporting rebels groups in foreign civil wars, and would instead prefer more direct involvement.
A few months ago the British government sent a massive £280M into the arms of the military industrial complex view as a concession being sent to the sector to make up for the British government’s refusal to go to war in Syria.
This should serve as proof to those who refuse to acknowledge the dangers, and even existence of, an inflated and overly influential military industrial complex. A ‘strong foreign policy’ should not mean warfare as the primary means of conducting foreign policy. It is entirely possible to, instead, base a ‘strong foreign policy’ outlook on diplomacy and war-avoidance.
While it will always be in someone’s interest to go to war, it takes a far stronger leader to consider those other, diplomatic options. A real President would keep the military industrial complex under control, not be controlled by it.
Be very wary of any candidates publicly showing support for APPS in the future.
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Military Contractors Behind New Pressure Group Targeting Presidential Candidates
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.
And blogger Joshua Huminski worked in 2013 as a spokesperson for Aegis Defense Services, a contractor that provided security services to U.S. facilities in Afghanistan. Aegis did not respond to a request asking if Huminski is still employed there.
As we first reported, Rogers may have a conflict of interest as well. Though he announced that he left Congress to pursue a career in talk radio, we found that the former Michigan congressman later admitted taking on jobs in consulting and in private equity. His office has refused to provide more information about those private sector gigs…
READ MORE ON WAR: 21st Century Wire Military Industrial Complex Files