Mapping the Business of War
Corporations consume over half of the U.S. military budget. And six corporations—Lockheed Martin, RTX, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, General Dynamics, and L3Harris—dominate that half. Their 2022 revenue from military contracting topped $210.5 billion.
Where are these corporations located? What do they produce?
This map summarizes what each facility currently works on and suggests peaceful, beneficial fields toward which production could immediately pivot.
Economic conversion involves changing the output of existing industrial capacity.
A federal job guarantee can protect workers during economic conversion. Workers know their facilities best, so they—not corporate executives—should be in charge of conversion.
Numerous fields stand to benefit from these workers (e.g., engineer, physicist, computer programmer, machinist, electrician) who are currently in military industry. Fields include but are not limited to public infrastructure, international scientific cooperation, transportation, disaster relief, and energy generation and storage.
As seen in the map, many facilities already produce goods and services—including satellites, rockets, telemetry, avionics, aircraft, information technology, propulsion, cameras and imaging systems, ships, land vehicles, logistics programs, and communications equipment—that could be used for peaceful civilian purposes.
Federal spending on non-military fields such as infrastructure and sustainable energy creates more jobs than military spending. Other benefits come from economic conversion:
Political space to bring the troops home and take care of them.
A united working class can generate the political will to take on big business interests and initiate economic conversion—war to peace.
Christian Sorensen is a researcher focused on the business of war. He is the foremost authority on the bundling of military and big business. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he is the author of the book Understanding the War Industry (Clarity Press, 2020). His research is available at warindustrymuster.com. Sorensen is a senior fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN), an organization of independent veteran military and national security experts who understand that U.S. foreign policy is not making them, or the world, safer.