This is part three of the NuclearBan.US blog series profiling the major nuclear weapons companies contracted by governments to build and maintain nuclear weapons. Many of these private companies you’ve probably never heard of, but they are all making huge profits producing and managing nuclear weapons for the US, UK, and French nuclear weapons modernization plans. Up next – Boeing.
Boeing is a behemoth in the defense industry. They are the world’s largest multinational aerospace company. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Boeing is the world’s 5th largest defense contractor and the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value. It is ranked 24thon the Fortune 500 list and touts itself as a provider of defense and commercial aerospace technology to 150 US allied countries. Boeing products include“commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.” Boeing has offices in 65 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people in the US.
If you’ve heard of Boeing at all, it is most likely as the manufactures of passenger aircrafts. Combined with Airbus (another nuclear weapon contractor), Boeing has a near monopoly on the commercial aircraft market. Yet they also manufacture everything from the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that transmit our nuclear warheads, to the apache helicopters, bombers, and munitions used in the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the Israeli occupation, and the 2013 Egyptian massacre of peaceful protestors. As of 2016, arms sales comprised 31% of Boeing’s total sales.
Boeing is also one of the most powerful political lobbies in the country. During the 2018 election cycle, Boeing contributed over 3.5 million dollars to republican and democratic candidate alike, and spent over 16 million in lobbying in 2017. To help maintain their cozy relations with the US Government, Boeing has a pattern of hiring former politicians like Thomas Pickering, the former ambassador to the United Nations and Israel, and Jeff Shockey, the former director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Boeing’s involvement in the nuclear weapons business also runs deep. They are involved in the development and maintenance of missiles for the US land, air, and submarine based nuclear triad. They have been contracted to develop all models of the ICBM missiles since 1958. Boeing currently have a series of multi-million dollar individual and joint-contracts to help design, maintain and modernize the Minutemen III missile system. Boeing is also contracted to help maintain and repair the US and UK Trident D5 navigation systems. Trident D5 refers to the submarine-based ICBMs. Lastly, Boeing has a joint contract with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to conduct studies on the Long-Range Standoff Missile plan, a centerpiece for the US air-based nuclear weapon system.
Boeing, along with other companies in the nuclear weapons industry, is getting rich producing weapons of mass death, and their money and weapons are tied to some of the worsts war crimes in recent history. We encourage everyone to check their investments and make sure that their personal finances are not supporting Boeing. Talk to your church, your university, your bank, and your city to let them know that any public institution intent on supporting the public good and complying with international law should not be supporting nuclear weapons profiteers like Boeing.