When the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991, U.S. weapons makers saw their Cold War gravy train grind to a halt. By 1993, the big weaponeers like Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup and Lockheed stemmed the bleeding by gobbling up the smaller players, acquiring new economic muscle in a dwindling domestic market.
To keep profits booming they turned eastward, all the way to the former Soviet republics. Their brilliant scheme was to bring these nations into NATO so they could sell them endless billions in weaponry. Weapons hawkers flooded these new markets while their lobbyists flooded Congress, making defense contractors among the most prominent supporters of NATO expansion. They had plenty of help from NATO expansionists in Congress, the military and the pundit class.
It didn’t matter the US promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that if Russia allowed German reunification, NATO would not move one inch eastward toward Russia. The munition giants weren’t subtle about their plan. Lockheed V.P. Bruce Jackson became president of the US Committee to Expand NATO. Congressman on the hunt for free goodies and campaign cash were an easy mark to forget the US promise to Gorbachev.
Beginning with Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary in 1999, NATO added 14 former Central and Eastern European countries in an alliance right up to Russia’s borders. These countries have now purchased over $16 billion in Western weaponry, with endless more to come.
Overall, defense contractors’ efforts to shut down the peace dividend in 1991 has been a smashing success. For Ukraine, Russia, Europe, the US, indeed the world, it helped provoke an illegal, murderous war that may spiral into a smashing catastrophe for mankind.