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Tags: Newmyer | ISIS | defense | war

Fortune's Newmyer: Defense Industry Wins in War Against ISIS

By    |   Monday, 15 September 2014 01:44 PM

It might not be clear when or if the United States will win the emerging war against ISIS, but the conflict is already producing one clear winner: the defense industry.

Drone and munitions will fare particularly well as the United States continues airstrikes against the Middle East terrorist group, notes Fortune columnist Tory Newmyer.

"The drone builders are going to have a field day," Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon Comptroller, tells Newmyer.

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Winners include drone-maker General Atomics, Northrop Grumman and privately owned Sierra Nevada.

General Atomics makes the Predator drone, the "granddaddy in the category," as well as the newer Reaper drone that can carry 3,000 pounds of bombs. Northrop Grumman produces the Global Hawk that can hover for up to four days at high altitudes to survey huge expanses of desert. Sierra Nevada designed the super sensor Gorgon Stare that uses nine cameras to scour four-kilometer wide tracts at a time.

Then there's AeroVironment, which makes drones so small they can be launched by hand, and satellite company DigitalGlobe, which sells nonclassified digital images to federal agencies.

Since an air campaign against ISIS will need plenty of bombs, munitions manufacturers stand to gain too, Newmyer notes.

The military will surely use plenty of Lockheed Martin's Hellfire missiles, especially since it can be launched from different platforms, including Predator drones, as well as Raytheon's Tomahawk, a long-range, sea-based missile.

Military spending on the war against ISIS could explode, experts warn. The United States is already spending more than $7.5 million a day fighting ISIS, and where spending will peak is anyone's guess. The Obama administration has asked Congress for $500 million to train and arm pro-Western rebels in Syria.

Contractors who train and advise foreign troops fighting ISIS also hope they'll get plenty of work, according to The Daily Beast's Eli Lake.

"They are looking for the next big meal ticket and this could be it," Sean McFate, a former contractor for Dyncorp, tells Lake. "The things they will provide are logistical support, training or retraining security forces."

Air power alone won't win the war. Victory will require people on the ground, and the administration will use private contractors to hide the number of Americans on the ground, writes Lake. The United States used contractors extensively in Iraq, but they were frequently embroiled in controversies, he says, citing the scandals in Abu Ghraib and Nissour Square.

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Finance
It might not be clear when or if the United States will win the emerging war against ISIS, but the conflict is already producing one clear winner: the defense industry.
Newmyer, ISIS, defense, war
418
2014-44-15
Monday, 15 September 2014 01:44 PM
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