Op-Ed: Raytheon Employee Appointment Silences the Screams of Anti-War America
Activists and Studnets Protest Raytheon
Tragedy struck the United States on September 11, 2001. After these terrorist attacks shocked an American public that was relatively ignorant of world affairs and naive to attacks on American soil, the country moved to enact the War on Terror. The War on Terror is a campaign to eliminate terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq while also limiting state-sponsored terrorism and eliminating figures such as Osama Bin Laden and Abu Masab al-Zarqawi. In response to 9/11, George Bush signed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force enacted by the 107th congress on September 18, 2001. Unknowingly, Bush would start a war older than the graduating class of 2021 with no end in sight.
Through the terms of Bush's predecessors, this war has barely changed. On occasion, the President or members of the legislative branch would propose the withdrawal of troops or withdrawal as a whole. However, these cries would fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately, the dead dreams of a noninterventionist America have rolled in their graves with the appointment of President Joseph R. Biden's Secretary of Defense, Llyod J. Austin. He was sworn in on January 22, 2021.
Like his predecessors, Austin is a decorated alumnus of the military. Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star general, is highly decorated. As a Combat Award Badge recipient and the 12th commander of United States Central Command, Austin to any president left, right, or center would be a fantastic candidate for the position. Retired United States Army General Larry Ellis has called Austin "the character and type of leadership needed to restore a proper division between the civilian and military spheres expressed in our political and social structures." However, his stint with Raytheon is heavily concerning. Raytheon is a weapons and military supply manufacturing company. Beyond this, Raytheon made its name through several ventures. One would be in the form of their MIM-104 Patriot missile, which was heavily used during the Persian Gulf War. More recently, Raytheon has worked with Israel on short-range air defense. Concerning Austin's recent association as a board member of Raytheon and his connections with Pine Island Capital Partners, it is possible to assume that a conflict of interest could occur.
University students protest weapon making companies
How can a man tasked with foreign affairs be associated with a company that benefits from the wheels of war turning for an American clamoring for peace? No matter your sentiment towards the President, it is necessary to notice that war has claimed many civilian and soldier lives and contributed heavily to our 27 trillion dollars national debt. The cries for no more wars need to shift towards organized civil action to deter situations such as Llyod Austin's appointment, a step back towards the dream of peace in the Middle East.