Russia\u0026#039;s deadly assault on Ukraine is a bonanza for arms manufacturers, which are lined up to profit as the United States and its allies increase military spending in an effort to bolster Kyiv\u0026#039;s forces.\r\n\r\n\u0022The spiraling conflict over Ukraine dramatizes the power of militarism and the influence of defense contractors.\u0022\r\n\r\nWilliam Hartung, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told The Hill on Tuesday that \u0022there\u0026#039;s a lot of possibilities for ways that the contractors will benefit, and in the short term we could be talking about tens of billions of dollars, which is no small thing, even for these big companies.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn the weeks since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade, lawmakers in the U.S. Congress approved a record-setting Pentagon budget, and their counterparts in several European countries also vowed to significantly boost military spending to counteract Moscow.\r\n\r\nThe $1.5 trillion government funding bill that U.S. President Joe Biden signed Friday greenlights an astronomical $782 billion in military spending—an increase of 6% over last year and nearly $30 billion above the White House\u0026#039;s initial request. The package also provides $6.5 billion in military aid to Eastern European nations, including $3.5 billion worth of additional weapons for Ukraine.\r\n\r\nAs The Hill reported, the extra support for Ukraine \u0022comes on top of more than $1 billion the U.S. has already spent in the past year to arm Ukrainian soldiers with modern weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, manufactured by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, and Raytheon\u0026#039;s anti-aircraft Stinger missiles.\u0022\r\n\r\nOne arms industry lobbyist told the news outlet that an immediate effect of the U.S. ramping up weapons shipments to Ukraine is that \u0022we\u0026#039;re going to have to backfill some of that ourselves, so that will force the Pentagon to buy more from some of the defense companies.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs for longer-term implications, the lobbyist said that Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike expect to pass an even larger military budget next year, which \u0022will pump more money into procurement and into [research and development].\u0022\r\n\r\nThe U.S. is not the only country where military contractors are anticipating a bump in sales. Over the past few weeks, European countries including Germany, Italy, Poland, and Sweden have announced that they will boost military spending.\r\n\r\nAccording to The Hill:\r\n\r\n\r\nCiting Russian aggression, Germany said Monday that it would purchase up to 35 American Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, a major reversal from its previous plan to revamp its aging fleet with a combination of older, less expensive American- and European-made jets.\r\n\r\nThat comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced late last month that the nation would invest $111 billion in a new military investment fund and increase defense spending above 2% of its gross domestic product.\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022We are proud of the confidence the German Federal Ministry of Defense and Luftwaffe officials have shown in choosing the F-35,\u0022 Lockheed Martin said in a statement.\r\n\r\nLess than three full months into 2022, Lockheed Martin\u0026#039;s stock has surged by more than 25%, while the share prices of Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman have also risen by roughly 12%, 14%, and 16%, respectively.\r\n\r\nEven before the Kremlin attacked Ukraine last month, arms manufacturers could hardly contain their excitement over the prospect of war, which they explained would be good for their bottom lines.\r\n\r\nAsThe Hill reported:\r\n\r\n\r\nIn a January earnings call, Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet said that the \u0022renewed great power competition\u0022 would lead to inflated defense budgets and additional sales. On the same day, Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investors that the company expected to see \u0022opportunities for international sales\u0022 amid the Russian threat.\r\n\r\n\u0022The tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there,\u0022 Hayes said. \u0022So I fully expect we\u0026#039;re going to see some benefit from it.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\nThe weapons industry lobbyist told the news outlet that higher military spending in Europe would be a boon for U.S.-based military contractors: Even though \u0022many countries have their own defense industrial base, they don\u0026#039;t make everything they need themselves. So they are going to rely on us in many cases for missiles, for aircraft, for ground vehicles.\u0022\r\n\r\nU.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said earlier this month that Russia\u0026#039;s war on Ukraine \u0022fundamentally altered what our national security posture, what our defense posture needs to be.\u0022 Next year\u0026#039;s Pentagon budget is \u0022going to have to be bigger than we thought,\u0022 he added—suggesting that far from being temporary, the recent spike in military spending may be a harbinger of what\u0026#039;s to come in the years ahead.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis is precisely the opposite of what peace advocates have argued should happen. One day after Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Quincy Institute\u0026#039;s Hartung warned against letting corporations and their allies in government use the war in Ukraine as a pretext for showering the military-industrial complex with even more money.\r\n\r\nA week later, he argued that such a move would be \u0022counterproductive\u0022 and potentially detrimental to U.S. security, echoing calls from anti-war groups that have long pushed for reallocating a portion of the Pentagon\u0026#039;s bloated budget to meet pressing human needs.\r\n\r\nIn a Truthout essay published earlier this month, historian Jonathan Ng, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tulsa, explained how \u0022the spiraling conflict over Ukraine dramatizes the power of militarism and the influence of defense contractors.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022A ruthless drive for markets—intertwined with imperialism—has propelled NATO expansion, while inflaming wars from Eastern Europe to Yemen,\u0022 wrote Ng.\r\n\r\nOn Saturday, as Common Dreams reported, Russia\u0026#039;s deputy foreign minister said that Moscow has warned the U.S. that \u0022the orchestrated pumping of weapons from a number of countries is not just a dangerous move, it is a move that turns these convoys into legitimate targets.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe Russian diplomat\u0026#039;s comments came after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that a Russian attack on supply lines of countries providing weapons to Ukraine—which is not a NATO member—would constitute a dangerous escalation that observers fear could spiral into a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed powers.\r\n\r\nThe Intercept\u0026#039;s Jeremy Scahill argued last week that the rapid acceleration of arms shipments into Ukraine represents \u0022a significant escalation of Western involvement\u0022 in the deadly conflict.\r\n\r\n\u0022It is understandable and reasonable that people across the U.S. and Europe are demanding their governments send more weapons to support Ukraine in resisting the Russian invasion,\u0022 Scahill wrote. \u0022Without the Western-supplied weapons Ukraine already possessed, it is very likely Russia would be in control of much larger swaths of the country.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022It is also vital,\u0022 Scahill added, \u0022that people advocating such a policy consider whether a sizable increase in U.S. and NATO weapons transfers will prolong the conflict and result in even more civilian death and destruction.\u0022\r\n\r\nLast year, researchers at Brown University\u0026#039;s Costs of War project estimated that as much as half of the $14 trillion spent by the Pentagon alone since its 2001 invasion of Afghanistan has gone to private military contractors.\r\n\r\nLindsay Koshgarian and her colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies\u0026#039; National Priorities Project and Stephen Semler of the Security Policy Reform Institute, meanwhile, have estimated that corporations gobbled up more than half.