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10 companies profiting the most from war

War profiteersThe business of war is profitable. In 2011, the 100 largest contractors sold $410 billion in arms and military services. Just 10 of those companies sold over $208 billion. Based on a list of the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in 2011 compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 companies with the most military sales worldwide.

These companies have benefited tremendously from the growth in military spending in the U.S., which by far has the largest military budget in the world. In 2000, the U.S. defense budget was approximately $312 billion. By 2011, the figure had grown to $712 billion. Arm sales grew alongside general defense spending growth. SIPRI noted that between 2002 and 2011, arms sales among the top 100 companies grew by 51%.

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The Worst Mistake in U.S. History -- America Will Never Recover from Bush's Great Foreign Policy Disaster

Bush's warTen years ago, George Bush made a decision that this country will regret for a very long time.

I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness -- and oh yes, it was madness -- not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough. I stood at Ground Zero of what was intended to be the new centerpiece for a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.

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Too much money spent in Iraq for too few results

Iraq spendingTen years and $60 billion in American taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation were worth the cost.

In his final report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen's conclusion was all too clear: Since the invasion a decade ago this month, the U.S. has spent too much money in Iraq for too few results.

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NATO says its troops shot dead two Afghan boys

NATO troopsNATO said on Saturday its forces had accidentally shot dead two Afghan boys, in the latest of a series of reports of civilian deaths at the hands of international troops.

The shooting in the southern province of Uruzgan could further strain the relationship between the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has demanded U.S. special forces leave another province over allegations of torture.

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Most charges dismissed against ex-Blackwater execs

blackwaterThe federal prosecution of five former employees of the private security firm Blackwater has crumbled after the defendants said they were acting at the behest of the CIA by providing five guns as gifts to King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Federal prosecutors indicted former Blackwater president Gary Jackson and four others in 2010 on a long list of felony firearms violations involving dozens of weapons, including 17 M-4 military assault rifles and 17 Romanian-made AK-47s.

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The lonely soldier and the moral scars of war

Lonely soldierVeterans of Iraq and Afghanistan find little ethical defence in the 'just war'. Each of us struggles to make peace with our actions.

In trying to understand the ongoing suicide epidemic among soldiers and veterans a third factor in addition to physical injuries and PTSD is now being discussed: the moral injuries they bring back.

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John Brennan and the truth about drones

Truth about dronesWhen I read the news that John Brennan was set to appear before the Senate in hopes of becoming of the C.I.A. director, I thought of the group of villagers I met at a seaside hotel in Yemen two years ago. They had driven many miles to see me, coming from the Yemen countryside in a pair of battered taxis, and they were waiting in the hotel parking lot.

There were about a dozen of them in all. It was a beautiful hotel, called the Mercure, with panoramic views of Aden harbor. The villagers, dressed in robes and rags, looked out of place, but they’d come to talk.

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