Patrick Shanahan and the Rise of the Military Industrial Complex

President Trump continues to pander to special interests by appointing Patrick Shanahan as Deputy Secretary of Defense. Mr. Shanahan served as Boeing’s senior vice president, Supply Chain & Operations since April 2016. Prior to that, Shanahan served as senior vice president of Airplane Programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a role he held from 2008.

The announcement of the Shanahan appointment comes on top of President Trump’s new $54 billion expanded military budget proposal. The Pentagon has already submitted a wish list for this budget, which includes an expansion of its Apache helicopter supply, a signature product for Boeing. On March 16, 2017, Boeing announced it had signed a $3.4 billion dollar contract to provide 266 Apache helicopters to the government. The coincidence that there is a Trump appointment of a Boeing executive as Deputy Secretary of Defense on the same day a large defense industry contract deal is announced cannot be lost on anyone.

It is obvious that Trump is a single-interest President, and that single-interest is the defense industry. He will eliminate every program in this country before once considering removing a single dollar from the defense budget. This short-sighted budget has seen criticism from both parties in Congress, as well as from national security experts and foreign policy leaders. Trump’s budget demonstrates no regard for art and little regard for science. Trump has shown that he even values the military over diplomacy.

On March 16, 2017, in a letter to Congress, Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) wrote, “Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the power of the purse. We urge you to use this power to stop the White House from making these extremely dangerous and short-sighted cuts to the international affairs budget.”

On February 28, 2017, Mitch McConnell said in a statement to the press, “The diplomatic portion of the federal budget is very important and you get results a lot cheaper, frequently, than you do on the defense side. … Speaking for myself, I’m not in favor of reducing what we call the 150 account.”

Trump’s budget and agenda has made it clear that he is not concerned with protecting the interests of the American people. He continues to move forward with a budget that is disparaged from both sides of the aisle. Trump’s budget only serves to demonstrate his willingness to play up to Boeing and others in the military industrial complex.

Let Congress know you do not support this special-interest President and his special interest budget agenda. Contact Congress today!


Foreign Policy Initiative

Department of Defense



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