War is an expensive business, I hear 2 billion US dollars are spent every week in Iraq war now (Sep 2007). US is running a huge trade deficit but it is still spending huge amounts of money on war why?
Who benefits from war? Whenever there's crime the first question asked is " who benefits most from the crime?" and many times answering this simple question can solve many crime mysteries. Well for war the answer is simple, the companies who make weapons benefit from the war more than anyone else.
Imagine an industry that doesn't have any customers in peace and suddenly find trillions of dollars worth of revenue in times of war. Wouldn't that industry be interested in having wars every once in a while? Hell yeah. Weapon manufacturing companies would try all possible means of creating wars between nations, or wars inside nations also know as "civil wars".Look at this for sample revenues for 2002 http://www.fas.org/asmp/profiles/top10fy02.html
I'm huge fan of capitalist system and I believe capitalism brings efficiency to everything it touches. In case of war and weapons capitalism helps the world to make most modern weapons in the most efficient way and when a war is real and necessary countries with private weapon manufacturing like US has advantage over countries like India where weapons are manufactured by government controlled companies. Government run weapons companies are inefficient and produces low quality weapons.
The sad part of private war companies is that they have to lobby constantly to keep the industry alive. If there's no war then there are weapons, if there are no weapons there's no revenue no profit. So for war companies civil wars in Africa, Israel Palestinian war, the Iraq war are necessary for providing them revenue. War companies will spend billions of dollars at Washington to lobby the congress, senate, republican and democratic party to make sure that wars keep happening. Its just a simple argument and I don't we need any evidence to prove that these lobbying is real.
How can this negative effect of war capitalism be reduced? Simple naive solution is to prevent congressmen, senators and presidential candidates to from taking contributions from weapon manufacturing companies but this policy will not be effective because investors in wars companies also invest in other non war companies and therefore this non war sister companies of war will lobby for the war companies. An effective solution to this problem would be to take back all the weapon manufacturing from the private companies. Government should take over all war companies including, all kinds of weapons, logistics and ammunition companies. Once government takes over the production of weapons and logistics of war there won't be any lobbying for war, billions of dollars of lobbying money will be saved, trillions of dollars spend in wars will be saved more importantly millions of human life will be saved.
Sometimes capitalism can work against us and war is a good example of that.