Profiteering, Militarism and Imperialism
Chapter 7: A taxonomy of war profiteers
War profiteers come in several shapes and forms and generate profit by various means. They can be classified into the providers of guns, the providers of butter, the providers of logistical support and mercenaries, the looters and politicians and government officials. General Smedley Butler identified war profiteers that supplied the United States military with civilian goods during World War I. The privatisation of war has created enormous profitable opportunities for private security firms, providing logistical support and mercenaries. The business has become so lucrative that many British, American and Australian special forces have quit to join them. These firms are granted lucrative contracts to perform tasks that at one time were entrusted to the military. Perhaps the biggest individual looter ever is King Leopold II of Belgium who in 1885 achieved international recognition for a personal colony, the Congo Free State.
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