Thank God for ISIS! – Who Profits from Wars?

ISIS Terrorists

We dont know who they are but the ‘Made in US/UK’ signs are hard to miss. ISIS are the “born again” of the Al Qaeda. The doubt is intensified because the enemies of the ISIS happen to be the very enemies of the West but to downplay that a few Western heads have been chopped. Nevertheless, whoever the ISIS, whoever they are controlled by or from where they take orders, we can well say that they are Muslims fighting against Muslims and that makes it all the more difficult to ascertain what exactly is going on. What we can ascertain is that after a period of lull and when Ukraine is out of financial scope or ability, hey presto ISIS has become the solution and with every terrorist movement emerging we go back to square one of who profits from wars and we should not be naïve not to know that terrorists do not emerge from any inherent grievance of denial or aiming for any aspirations, they are people created to wage mayhem for in so doing a host of opportunities have prevailed to a lot of people directly and indirectly. It is one sordid and selfish reason why no one wishes terror to really stop.

In June 2014, the New York Times posted an article titled “The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth”attributing slowness of economic growth in high-income economies concluding that it is because the world hasnt had much warfare lately. The article refers to the Keynesian argument that preparing for war lifts government spending and puts people to work! Also argued is how innovations such as nuclear power, computer, modern aircraft came into fruition in order to defeat the Axis powers and win World Wars. Where Governments fail to summon urgency among masses, war times does the article argues and the example of how the Manhattan Project took just 6 years to produce the working atomic bomb is given. The logic of the article assumes that Western European nations growth are slow because they have no fear of being taken over militarily thus their politicians don’t face extreme penalties for stagnation. Unusual but certainly interesting logic which Prof. Ian Morris of Standford University has highlighted in his book ‘War! What is it Good for?” and says it is good for progress of civilization from primates to robots.

What is true is that the technologies being innovated today are far too dangerous and destructive and the disastrous outcomes are significant for the entire planet including the environment.

The fact is that there are many who believe that wars are opportunities and this list will show you why they think so:

Who profits from wars

  • The companies manufacturing arms, ammunition, equipment etc – their shareholders, stakeholders and the employees who are likely to get opportunities for career advancement, promotions, relocations, perks, holiday bonuses etc.
  • The Defense Industry – commission opportunities, designations and promotions, opening new troop deployments in foreign stations (by arm twisting diplomatic language)
  • The Governments, advisors, consultants, lawyers, administrative staff, new offices, extended terms of reference and contracts
  • The international arms dealers – often connected back to the same people end up finding ways to get arms sold to the perpetrators
  • The media – can sell their papers, their breaking news, their anchors will travel to the hot spots to deliver the latest breaking news before others, host of opportunities for them to win accolades for their reporting
  • IT industry /Research – new opportunities to test out experiments on targeted nations using these people as guinea pigs and dropping all kinds of chemicals as tests! The situation provides excellent opportunity to further curtain and control the people of their own country claiming that they are protecting the people and then enforcing using the slogan ‘national security’ a host of measures the people will find too late has been to curb their rights and freedoms. Countries are beginning to realize what fools they have become and how far they have allowed the State to take away their liberties. Even 6 year olds are getting arrested!
  • The Specialists – terrorism experts can write more books, they will be interviewed, they will show blueprints on how to stop terror (nothing ever has succeeded so far though except the military elimination of the LTTE)
  • The Human Rights/INGOs/NGOs – another lot of people making merry from wars, they will come out bemoaning the fate of civilians demanding ‘both sides’ honor pledges (whatever they are), they will come with the books on international laws, read out texts of human rights violations, they will request to have offices to monitor the situation and give an ‘unbiased’ reading, they would want to bring in staff, initiate scorecards on how to conduct wars according to Geneva Conventions (terrorists will be laughing while enjoying tea with them!)
  • The UN – will insist on a UN office, UN monitors, UN peace keepers, UN personnel, rapporteurs, tribunals, international investigations – all job opportunities and enablers for everything but ending terror or loss of lives. They will insist on officials getting ‘access to areas’ and all these are opportunities for a host of benefits. Enough of troops have been stationed all over the world and they have all been nothing but a nuisance to the natives of these countries.
  • The airlines, travel agents, hotels – booking flights for Government officials, consultants, advisors, legal teams with their hotel bookings, transportation arrangements plus a few opportunities to visit areas for shopping during breaks! Quite a lot of travel opportunities for consultations!
  • The food and pharmaceutical industry – buffer stocks of foods and medicines would be required, opportunities to disburse of items close to shelf expiry is perfect to transport these as relief aid,
  • Transportation and Logistics industry – sea/air transport of both goods and services,
  • Civilian contractors – given contracts to rebuild destroyed structures and the building material companies are beneficiaries too.
  • Funeral parlors and florists – they are in for additional luck too. For every unnecessary death, funerals have to be arranged, undertakers are needed, florists are required even the hirers of cutlery, crockery, tables and chairs for funerals!
  • Security firms – In times of calamity and when people are told that they are in danger people go to great lengths to secure their property and so firms provide security and they benefit too.

This list certainly can be strengthened… but eventually who is the victim…. it is the common man and no one cares about him! Yet post conflict scenarios do offer opportunities as well, at least that is better than innocent people having to die to make a better life for a handful!

– by Shenali D Waduge