Trump Is Taking Down The Military–Industrial Complex One Tweet At A Time

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On Dec. 12, President-elect Donald Trump attacked the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Twitter, saying the cost of the next-generation stealth plane is “out of control.”


A presidential tweet can have some serious corporate repercussions: In subsequent trading, shares in Lockheed Martin, the company that produces the aircraft, dipped more than 4%, and its market value plunged by $4 billion, according to CNBC. To put that in perspective, it’s 1/100th the estimated cost of the weapons program itself, which some believe could reach $400 billion.

Lockheed isn’t the only one. Last week, Trump called out Boeing as well.

Boeing secured a contract in January 2016 to start work on the 747 jets meant to replace the 25-year-old Air Force One planes, which will be phased in early next decade. And although its stock price dipped by 1% after the tweet, it has since recovered.

But companies across the country are feeling the sting of Trump’s Twitter attacks. Northrop Grumman is only a component producer on the F-35, and its stocks hit a one-month low as a result of the tweet. While these companies have more than enough financial capital to withstand such attacks, other smaller contractors may not be so resilient.

Trump calls interventions in iraq and afghanistan an absolute failure »

Hopefully these companies fare better than the F-35 in a thunderstorm. Around the same time the president-elect was firing off his tweet, a pair of the stealth aircraft that were scheduled for delivery to Israel — the first installment of 50 planes that have been promised — were grounded for several hours in Italy due to bad weather.

The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.

"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."

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U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.

"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."

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(U.S. Army photo)

After a year and a half since the Army took delivery on the first of its souped-up new version of the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Pentagon's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio is ramping up to deliver the service's first full brigade of upgraded warhorses to bring the pain downrange.

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On Tuesday, two political veterans groups, one on the left, the other on the right, announced a new lobbying campaign aimed at ending America's 'forever wars.'

In a video tied to the announcement, Dan Caldwell, the senior adviser to Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative veterans' group, and Jon Soltz, the chairman of VoteVets, a liberal vets group which aims to get former service members into office, laid out their plan for a lobbying campaign aimed at changing policy on how the United States wages war.

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The Army is working on developing an alternate fitness test for soldiers with permanent injuries that prevent them from completing the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

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