In January 1961, President Eisenhower warned the nation of the union between the burgeoning arms industry and the Department of Defense. The military-industrial complex, as he said, would endanger democracy and place the defense industry at the seat of the country’s foreign and domestic policy. And now Joe Biden, with his top foreign and defense policy picks, has made choices that are emblematic of a conflict-of-interest status quo for which there is no constituency (at least not one that is not on the payroll).
WestExec Advisors – a defense industry consultancy on the verge of turning several of its executives into top positions in the Biden administration – is a dangerous manifestation of Eisenhower’s warning. Obama alumni Michèle Flournoy and Antony Blinken founded the firm in 2017 and advertise their company as the route “from the situation room to the boardroom”. They reinforced their insider access claims with other Obama administration employees like White House communications director Jen Psaki and Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines.
With these well-connected workforce numbers, it’s clear what the firm means when it promises to “harness the power of our network to help clients overcome emerging challenges and opportunities quickly.”
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