President Trump has accused Pentagon chiefs and the military-industrial complex of starting wars to hand billions of dollars to arms makers.
Trump drew outrage from his liberal critics and foreign policy hawks on Monday after he accused the Pentagon’s top brass of starting wars in order to boost the profits of defense contractors.
“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me. The soldiers are,” the president said.
RT reports: Trump’s comments come as his latest response to a September 3 story in the Atlantic, which alleged the president had denigrated fallen American soldiers throughout his time in office, reportedly dubbing them “losers” and “suckers.” Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations, which were based on the claims of anonymous officials and aides, reiterating on Monday: “Who would say a thing like that? Only an animal would say a thing like that.”
His scathing critique of the Pentagon’s top leadership prompted a new wave of controversy, however, as a number of media pundits, Democratic lawmakers and bellicose foreign policy commentators lined up to voice horror at the “unprecedented public attack” on the military.
“Perhaps [Defense Secretary Mark Esper] should defend the honor of those with whom he serves at the Pentagon? He has little to lose, since he’s probably going to be fired anyway. Why not go out on a high note?”tweeted neoconservative luminary Bill Kristol, a top booster of the disastrous US invasion of Iraq and a vocal #NeverTrumper.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also weighed into the fray, arguing that a “permanent moratorium” on retired generals serving on the boards of defense contractors – a phenomenon known as the ‘revolving door’ – would “end the endless wars immediately.” He pointed to a series of former officials who left their posts in the Pentagon for cushy jobs in the weapons industry, where retired officers often work as lobbyists helping to grease the skids for lucrative government contracts.
Between 2008 and 2018, at least 380 high-ranking Pentagon officials were hired by top defense contractors after leaving public office, including 25 generals, 9 admirals, 43 lieutenant generals and 23 vice admirals, according to a report by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). Many became lobbyists, board members, executives or consultants for firms such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.