The Corporatocracy Behind US Foreign Policy

by | Nov 26, 2015

In a Tuesday interview with Real News Network host Paul Jay, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member and former United States Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson started off acknowledging that companies’ billions of dollars a year of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia “massively” influence US foreign policy.

Over the remainder of the fascinating eight-minute interview, Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, proceeds to discuss how government policy is fashioned to benefit military-industrial complex companies. Wilkerson provides as an example a tens of billions of dollars air defense system for the Gulf Cooperation Council governments, with Lockheed Martin the top contractor. Wilkerson chillingly concludes:

So, this is crucial to the number one defense contractor on the face of the earth — Lockheed Martin. And, if it’s crucial to Lockheed, it’s crucial to us.

To benefit business interests, elite actors in US politics may even turn on a dime in regard to their foreign policy advocacy.

In the interview, Wilkerson provides former Vice President Dick Cheney as an example. Cheney, Wilkerson explains, as the chief executive officer of Halliburton in 1998, was “ranting about how sanctions against Iran are terrible, how they will never work, and how they ought to be lifted so that Halliburton can do business there.” Then, Wilkerson continues, Cheney, as vice president, changed his tune to declaring that “Iran is the anathema of the world.”

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

Hearing Wilkerson’s detailing of the string pulling behind the scenes in US foreign policy may bring to mind Communications Corporation of America boss Arthur Jensen’s exhortation in the profound and masterful 1976 film Network. Jensen, played by Ned Beatty, tells Howard Beale (Peter Finch) that “there is no America; there is no democracy; there is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon; those are the nations of the world today.”

It may be comforting to dismiss Jensen’s exhortation as pure fiction. But, with revelations like those made in Wilkerson’s interview, it is clear that Jensen’s comments express more truth than many people realize.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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