When President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his famous warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex, he never would have dreamed that a single company could accumulate the kind of power and influence that is now wielded by Lockheed Martin. As a full-service weapons maker, Lockheed Martin receives over $29 billion a year in Pentagon contracts, or roughly one out of every ten dollars the Department of Defense doles out to private contractors. Prophets of War recounts the fascinating and often-frightening history of America’s largest military contractor as well as its role in the formation of foreign policy.
The company has produced spy satellites; helped the Pentagon collect personal data on U.S. citizens; provided interrogators for employment at Guantanamo Bay; manufactured our highest-tech aircraft; and more. It has also been embroiled in numerous scandals — from bribing officials in the Netherlands, Italy, and Japan in exchange for the purchase of Lockheed airplanes in the 1970s, to the provision of $600 toilet covers and $7,000 coffee makers to the Pentagon in the 1980s.
William D. Hartung’s enthralling exposé chronicles the growth of Lockheed Martin into one of the most influential corporations in the world, and examines the pivotal role the company has had in America’s metastasizing military industrial complex. It asks: How has one company become the recipient of such a large portion of America’s tax dollars through contracts with the Pentagon, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, the NSA, and even the U.S. Census and the IRS? Hartung’s meticulous, hard-hitting history follows Lockheed Martin’s meteoric growth and unravels how this arms industry giant has helped shape U.S. foreign policy for decades.