Wednesday, August 11, 2010

corporate war machine - cost of munitions - austerity governance

You hear global governments squawking on about AUSTERITY MEASURES all the time. Deficit this. Downscale that. Surely, austerity's a joke in light of the high-tech ammo, bombs and missiles the Corporate War Machine is throwing at 'sovereign countries it disagrees with' or 'wants the assets of'.

You hear talk of, "The war costs us so many BILLIONS OF DOLLARS per year," and you can't actually imagine what that means, so let's break it down a little bit more so that the realisation can actually sink it. So that the enormity of the financial burden of War For Profit can actually be made clear to You The People upon which Global Governance would like to impose these radical austerity measures.

Just think of how much you might earn, as an employer, PER YEAR (even you degree students who're up to your necks in student loans right now) before reading this illustrative price list of weapons dropped on Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001:


l BGM-109 Tomahawk Missile
Long range, subsonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare, launched from surface ships and submarines. About 50 Tomahawks were launched in the opening assault on Afghanistan October 7th, 2001.
Contractor: Raytheon
Unit Cost: approximately $1 million

l AGM-114 Hellfire Missile
Short-range, laser-guided, air-to-surface missile. The Hellfire missile is used on the Army Apache and Marine Corps Super Cobra helicopters. The unmanned Predator drone is also armed with Hellfire missiles.
Contractor: Lockheed Martin
Unit Cost: $40,000

l M-220 TOW Anti-Tank Missile
This Guided missile weapon system is known for its "fire and forget" capabilities. Current versions can penetrate more than 30 inches of armor and launch 3 missiles in 90 seconds.
Manufacturer: Raytheon
Unit Replacement Cost: $180,000

l Javelin Anti-Tank Missile
Javelin is a portable antitank weapon. It is shoulder-fired and can also be installed on vehicles.
Contractor: Raytheon/Lockheed Martin JAVELIN Joint Venture.
Unit Cost: Approximately $100,000

l JDAM (GBU-29,-30,-31,-32)
The Joint Direct Attack Munition- or JDAM- is a guidance kit that straps onto unguided free-fall bombs, making them guided "smart" weapons. They are used by both the Army and Navy, and since Sept. 11, more than 1,000 additional kits have been ordered.
Contractor: Boeing
Unit Cost: $21,000 per strap-on guidance kit

l GBU-28 Bunker-buster
The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28), often known as a "bunker buster," was developed during the 1991 Gulf War for penetrating fortified Iraqi command centers deep underground. Carried by B-2 stealth bombers and F-15 fighters, the GBU-28 is a 5,000lb laser-guided, conventionally armed bomb fitted with a 4,400lb penetrating warhead. While only two were used in Iraq, it seems the weapons are being used with more frequency in Afghanistan.
Contractor: Lockheed Martin
Unit cost: $145,600

l BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter"
The BLU-82 combines a watery mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum with air, then ignites the mist for a huge explosion that incinerates everything within up to 600 yards. The shock wave can be felt miles away. According to the US Air Force, 11 of these were dropped on Iraq. So far, the Pentagon reports having used the weapons twice in Afghanistan. After the bombs were first used in there, Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff told a press conference "As you would expect, they make a heck of a bang when they go off. The intent is to kill people."
Contractor: TK TK
Unit Cost: $27,000

l GBU-37 GPS Aided Munition
Among the largest of the guided bomb is the GBU-37. This massive weapons weighs roughly 5,000 pounds and is designed to penetrate buried bunkers, killing leaders and destroying command-and- control networks hidden underground. The GBU-37 can be launched by the B-2 stealth bomber and is guided by GPS satellites to its target.
Contractor: TK TK
Unit cost: $231,250

l CBU-87 Cluster Bomb
The United States has dropped about 600 cluster bombs since the war in Afghanistan began. Cluster bombs are 1,000-pound munitions that break into 202 bomblets. Each bomblet breaks into 300 fragments of steel. The fragments can covers a football field. The bombs are used against 'soft targets,' meaning people. Unexploded munitions are a concern because the bomblets are bright yellow and attractive to children".
Manufacturer: Alliant Techsystems
Unit Cost: about $14,000

l CBU-89 Cluster Bomb
CBU-89 Gator
The U.S. CBU-89/B is the latest cluster bomb in the family of scatterable mines. The dispenser holds 72 anti-armor mines and 22 anti-personnel mines. These mines arm immediately upon impact. The GATOR has two integrated kill mechanisms, a magnetic influence fuze to sense armor, and deployed trip wires that activate when personnel walk on or disturb it.
Manufacturer: Alliant Techsystems
Unit Cost: about $40,000

that's just a FRACTION of this master price list, it's not the tanks or the planes or the boats or the million-dollar soldiers, in fact that's just the AMMO.


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