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03:15 PM, September 6, 2013
U.S. Arms Industry Funding Syria Aggression?

Members of the U.S. Senate foreign relations committee which voted for a U.S. strike against Syria received campaign money from the defence industry.

This leads credence to the suspicion that American arms industry needs the war to pull it out of a downturn caused by budget cuts and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan.

The highest recipient was Sen. John McCain, a hawkish Republican from Arizona who reportedly raked in $176,000 in defense industry financing for his campaign, according to a report in Wired magazine. The senate committee voted 10-7 earlier this week for a limited strike against Assad regime targets in Syria as punitive action for using chemical weapons.

The 10 members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee  who voted for the strike received an average of $72,850 from defense contractors over a five-year span compared to an average of $39,770 received by the seven members who voted no, Wired reported.

The report was based on data collected from 2007 to 2012 by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based campaign finance watchdog group, and analyzed by Maplight, a California-based group tracking money in politics.

Critics have long accused the US defense industry of using its deep pockets to influence lawmakers in Washington and benefiting from American military operations abroad. As in the war against Iraq and Afghanistan, the arms industry benefitted tremendously from ‘urgent’ procurement for the ‘war fighters' on the ground. Billions of dollars of equipment, which otherwise would have gone through an elaborate procurement process, was ordered by eliminating much red tape to support the war effort.

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